Man who cheated death due for surgery

2013-01-24 00:00

PENSIONER Fritz Vermaak, who twice cheated death on Monday, surviving an accident at the New England Road landfill site and then a heart attack, is awaiting an operation to have a pacemaker fitted.

Relatives said yesterday that his heart was under severe strain as a result of the shock.

His daughter, Rhyna, said doctors told them Vermaak would undergo an operation to have the pacemaker fitted. They were waiting to be told when this was going to happen.

Vermaak believes he cheated death on Monday — first when a truck toppled over on to his bakkie and then when he suffered a heart attack — so that he could play a role in making the landfill site safer for others to use.

At his urging, relatives filed a report on the incident with police. He wants the police to check whether the truck was roadworthy.

A witness to Monday’s incident, Kyle Petersen, agreed with Vermaak’s criticism that there was little space for vehicles accessing the site.

But he also believes that drivers should be responsible and courteous.

“It seems drivers abandon all traffic rules when they enter the site,” he said.

However, Petersen’s biggest concern is the roadworthiness of the municipal trucks, which he hopes will be investigated during the inquiry into the accident.

Vermaak’s employee, Abraham Elioti, who hurt his leg while pushing his employer out of the bakkie cab in time, was still in pain yesterday and worried about how he was going to earn his keep.

Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan said investigators were waiting for Vermaak to be discharged from hospital to take his statement.

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