‘He was drunk and was speeding’

2009-08-11 00:00

THE accident on the N3 on Saturday that claimed the lives of an 18-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy and also seriously injured three other people, was allegedly caused by speeding and drunken driving, said one of the survivors.

Fatima Pitout, the mother of the deceased five-year-old boy and also one of the survivors, blamed her uncle for the accident. She said he was driving at the time, contrary to earlier reports and his alleged statements that the girl was driving.

Pitout said she and eight other people had been loaded into a Toyota conquest and were headed for a fishing trip in the Midmar dam. She said she initially refused to go when she realized that the driver was drunk, but felt pressured to go by her husband.

“My husband said I was refusing to go because I no longer loved him, so I ended up getting into the car.”

She said the driver was so drunk he could not even keep the car on the lane. “He was drunk and was speeding; when he was driving he could not even keep the car straight. It veered left and right onto the pavement. At one point we were almost smashed by the truck because he could not keep the car straight.”

Pitout said she does not recall exactly what happened leading up to the actual accident, but she remembers being thrown out of the car, and when she woke up she saw the body of the girl, saying “her body was lying in one place and her head in another.”

She refuted the allegations that the deceased girl was the one driving. “She did not even have a driver’s license and if you gave her the keys she would not know what to do.”

Pitout said she did not know her son was dead until her brother told her. “I could not see my son because he was thrown to the other side of the freeway. And the nurses there they told me not to go to him, that he was fine and they had covered him up so he could breathe.”

Edward Mauer, her brother-in-law, said they had contacted the police about the information that the owner of the car was actually the driver, but the “police said they could not take a statement on the weekend.”

Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram of the South African Police Service said the police had not been informed that the girl was driving, he said the investigation is continuing and “the actual driver will be identified.”

Fatima Pitout refuting allegations that the deceased girl was the one driving

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