It’s raining flour

2014-04-17 00:00

A TRUCK driver was hailed a hero yesterday after navigating his runaway truck down a steep, winding road with no loss of life.

Thulani Jicwa, who works for Essential Foods, was driving down Sweetwaters Road when the brakes on his truck, laden with flour, maize meal, samp and spaghetti, failed.

Jicwa said the brakes failed after he had just passed the Sweetwaters turn-off, and he did everything in his power to avoid a collision.

“After negotiating so many bends, it became more difficult to avoid an accident as the truck gained momentum, because this is quite a steep slope,” said Jicwa, who added that he feared the worst as the vehicle hurtled down the road, which is only wide enough in places for one vehicle to pass.

Other occupants of the truck complemented his skills, despite the truck ending up on its side. “You managed to control it well. We could have died,” said one of his assistants.

However, Jicwa’s most ardent fan was Selby Ndlovu, whose car was badly damaged in the resulting accident.

“I was driving up Sweetwaters Road near Linpark High School when I saw the truck rolling towards me,” said Ndlovu.

He said although he had not seen when the truck had lost its brakes, he realised that if Jicwa had not done his best to control it, they would have been dead.

“I decided to leave the car in neutral to avoid the truck from crushing my car, killing me instantly. That was enough to make it roll, lessening the impact and helping the truck to lose momentum,” said Ndlovu.

He said an SUV travelling behind him was also damaged but no one was hurt.

“I was so afraid and I thought I was going to die, but I thank God we were spared,” he said.

Essential Foods warehouse manager Jacob Mafikeng said they were investigating the incident.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said one person was injured in the accident and taken to hospital. He said police are investigating a case of reckless and negligent driving, but no arrests were made.

Bystanders and passing motorists helped themselves to the flour, maize, samp and spaghetti strewn all over the road, in front of police who did nothing to stop them.

The road was closed while the authorities cleared the wreckage, causing major traffic backlogs in both directions.

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