Officer hurt as truck slams into police car at biker accident scene

2014-08-04 00:00

A HORROR high-speed crash on the N3 near Cato Ridge left three motorcyclists and a traffic police officer seriously injured.

Police officers had tried to close the freeway after three motorcyclists were involved in a collision while travelling towards Pietermaritzburg.

While police officers blocked part of the freeway, a truck slammed into their police car.

Road Traffic Inspectorate officer Neli Hadebe was inside, reporting the motorcycle accident to the control room, when the truck hit the patrol car head-on. She was trapped in the wreckage of the car, after the careering truck had shunted it to the roadside.

RTI spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said the truck was taken to the Mkondeni testing grounds and that preliminary test indicates a problem with the truck tractor’s brakes, while the trailer’s brakes passed the test. The bikers and officer were all rushed to Pietermaritzburg hospitals where they remain in a serious condition.

ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said paramedics who went to the scene found the road littered with debris. ER24 paramedics arrived at the scene shortly after 8 am and found several lanes scattered with debris from the broken-up motorcycles. The three motorbike riders had sustained serious injuries. It is understood that the three riders were involved in a collision with each other.

He said a traffic police vehicle was dispatched to cordon off the area to alert oncoming vehicles. “According to one of the officers on the scene, they suddenly noticed an articulated truck heading in their direction.

“The driver of the traffic vehicle managed to escape from the vehicle moments before the truck crashed into it. Unfortunately the passenger could not escape in time and the truck crushed her inside the vehicle.

“Fire and rescue services struggled for almost 40 minutes to free her from the wreckage. She sustained serious injuries and paramedics immediately started stabilising her once she was freed,” Vermaak said.

He added that what caused the motorcyclists to crash was not immediately clear.

“It is understood that the driver of the truck was not injured in this incident.”

Department of Transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane confirmed an investigations into the cause of the crash involving the police officer had commenced.

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