Municipal truck runs amok

2014-07-08 00:00

A RUNAWAY 10-ton municipal truck mowed down an electricity pole, three trees, a traffic light and a BMW, before a third pole finally managed to stop it in its tracks.

Early morning commuters along Peter Mokaba Ridge in the Berea looked on in disbelief as the driver of the refuse ­removal truck apparently lost control, and struck a pole.

At this point the four municipal workers travelling on the back of the truck obviously thought it safer to get out of the way, and they all jumped from the moving vehicle. They sustained minor injuries.

Motorist Mahomed Khalil was on his way to work at about 8.30 am when he witnessed the incident.

“The truck was going at a speed, so it looked as if the brakes have failed. But it looked as if he tried his best not to hurt anyone on the road,” Khalil said.

According to Khalil, the DSW workers jumped off the truck when it first took down the light pole.

After this impact, the truck steamed ahead and hit a BMW (which then knocked the car in front of it), and uprooted two trees before the traffic light at the Nelson Road crossing fell victim.

Finally, it conceded, with the dangerous chase ending against an electricity pole about 10 metres further on.

Traffic on Peter Mokaba Ridge was severely affected as the north-bound lane was closed to allow emergency services to clear the scene.

Later yesterday morning, scrap dealers were seen getting in on the spoils and picking up parts of the truck that lay strewn around.

Rescue Care paramedics on the scene said the driver was carefully extricated from the truck before being transported with his four colleagues to a nearby private hospital for further care. They have all since been released.

Station commander at the Durban Fire Department, Greg Zikhali, who was on the accident scene, said it took about 10 minutes to extricate the driver from the truck because the doors had to be pried open.

“We used hydraulic equipment (jaws of life) to free the driver, who had been in shock at the time,” Zikhali said.

None of the occupants of the BMW was injured.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the cause of the accident is being investigated.

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