Pupils hurt after drunk taxi driver crashes

2014-11-11 00:00

A DURBAN taxi driver crammed 15 pupils into a taxi after drinking the equivalent of nearly 82 beers.

The heavily inebriated driver lost control of the overloaded vehicle, leaving his 15 passengers badly hurt.

The swaying driver was carted off in handcuffs and sobered up behind bars, with his first appearance in court expected today.

RescueCare Paramedics Garrith Jamieson said that the pupils had clambered from the wrecked taxi after it overturned and came to rest on its side on Kenyon Howden Road, Montclair.

“Rescue Care paramedics arrived on the scene and found the vehicle, a Toyota Condor, on its roof. They found multiple children around the vehicle who had all been injured.”

He said that reserve ambulances had to be called in to deal with the group of injured children.

“A total of 15 children needed hospitalisation and more resources were called in to assist with the number of children hurt. Once more ambulances had arrived and all of the children had been stabilised on scene, they were transported to various Durban hospitals for the further care that they required,” he said.

eThekwini Metro Police spokesperson Superintendent Eugene Msomi confirmed that the driver had recorded a breath alcohol reading over 40 times the legal limit.

“Our enhanced enforcement measures have already started. This, in particular, applies in abuse of alcohol as many people have started with their year-end closing celebrations.

“It is our intention to actually endeavour to test every driver involved in a collision or accident where possible during this festive season,” he said.

Department of Transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said that the arrest of the taxi driver should serve as a stern warning.

“This is going to send a strong warning to all motorists that as we approach the festive season, we will be adopting a harsh approach to those who feel they are entitled to transgress the law,” he said.

“What is worse is that he was carrying children and overloading, and these are just some of the things we will focus on as we approach Christmas. Those who break the law will be shown no mercy and there will be no escape for them. Strategic deployment of officers will put the squeeze on these people, and they must not think that by sneaking around the back roads they will be safe. This is a warning,” Ncalane said.

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