‘KZN’s high road death toll is unacceptable’

2014-02-03 00:00

THE wet weekend ended with a death toll on KwaZulu-Natal’s road that reads more like the fatalities during December’s holiday traffic.

On Saturday, 13 people were killed in road accidents in various parts of the province.

Yesterday, Netcare 911 paramedics found three people dead in an overturned vehicle after responding to an accident that happened early in the morning in Cato Ridge.

An overturned truck on the infamous Townhill section of the N3 South yesterday saw five people narrowly escaping death, but sustaining injuries ranging from moderate to serious.

KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu expressed dismay at the deaths in one day.

In one accident, two men and a woman were killed after the vehicle they were travelling in overturned near Nagle Dam outside Pietermaritzburg on Saturday morning.

The Witness can confirm that the vehicle belonged to the Department of Social Development.

ER24 paramedics found the three people entrapped in the car, which was lying on its roof. RTI spokesperson Zinhle Mngo­mezulu said the car was registered under the department’s Cato Ridge office. The department’s national spokesperson Phumla Williams said the national office was making a follow-up with the provincial office.

In another accident, two vehicles collided head-on on the P459 road in Mandeni, North of KwaZulu-Natal. Four people were killed on the scene, while one was taken to Sundimbili clinic.

Also on Saturday, a minibus taxi lost control on the P463 outside Mondlo in Vryheid. Two people died, while 15 sustained critical injuries and were taken to Vryheid Provincial Hospital.

In another accident on the M25 at Inanda, a minibus taxi lost control and overturned, killing three people on the scene and leaving others with critical injuries.

The driver was arrested and was to be charged with drunken, reckless and negligent driving. In La Lucia, a 55-year-old man was killed after he was trapped between two vehicles that collided on Saturday afternoon.

MEC Mchunu said law enforcement agencies will investigate all the possible causes of these fatal accidents. “It is clear to us that all these accidents are caused by people who disregard traffic rules.”

He said it was unacceptable that so many people die on KZN’s roads.

“It’s our collective responsibility to work towards reducing the scourge of road accidents,” said Mchunu in a statement.

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