Six hurt in two crashes as orange spill closes N3 for hours

2009-07-27 00:00

THE N3 on Town Hill was blocked for hours yesterday after two trucks collided, spilling oranges across the road. Soon after the collision, in which two people were injured, four people were hurt when the driver of a car took evasive action and drove up a bank to avoid smashing into the trucks.

Captain Dolf Otto said police are investigating the possibility that one of the trucks may have had brake failure. A case of reckless and negligent driving was opened.

Transport Department spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu said a decision was made to close the road after people stopped their cars to pick up the oranges, causing further traffic chaos.

Further afield, four people died and others were injured in road accidents around the province during the weekend.

In Umlazi, eight policemen and three civilians were injured when two taxis collided on Saturday morning. Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said six of the policemen were treated for serious injuries, ranging from severe concussions to possible neck, back and leg fractures.

In an accident on Saturday morning on the south coast, an elderly woman died in a collision between an SAPS vehicle and a taxi. Two taxi passengers and two policemen were injured.

In Rossburgh, Durban, one person died and another is in a serious condition after the truck they were travelling in hit a shop on Saturday evening. Botha said both the driver and passenger were trapped. The passenger was extracted from the cab, but the driver died.

Between Driefontein and Burford near Ladysmith, a car and a bakkie, collided, killing two people and leaving two with serious injuries.

A Transport Department spokeswoman said the car driver was drunk, and was arrested.

At Cato Ridge, two drivers were charged for exceeding the speed limit. One motorist was driving at 171 km/h and the driver of a minibus that was fully laden was caught driving at 140 km/h. Both drivers were taken to Camperdown police station.

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