Six of 30 killed in N3 crash still to be identified

2011-12-12 00:00

TWENTY-FOUR of the 30 people killed in a crash between overloaded midibus taxi and a truck on the N3 near Harrismith in the early hours of Saturday have been identified.

Road Traffic Management Corporation officer Ashref Ismail said the midibus and a heavy goods truck collided head-on on the N3 about two kilometres from Harrismith.

He said the taxi was overloaded; it is a 23-seater, but carried 35 people.

“Ten men, 10 women and 10 children aged nine months to 14 years died in this accident.

“Contributing factors were that the vehicle was overloaded and travelling at a high speed when the accident happened,” said Ismail.

The taxi was on its way from Johannesburg to Tsolo near Mthatha when it collided with the truck.

Sapa reported that most of the families of the dead came from Tsolo to identify the bodies at the mortuary in Phuthaditjhaba yesterday.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele conveyed condolences to the families of those killed.

Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said the mother of an 18-month-old baby who was injured in the crash, was found to be among the other survivors in hospital.

He could not immediately confirm the number of survivors still in hospital or their condition, but said the truck driver was discharged on Saturday.

Seven people were admitted at various hospitals in a serious condition.

It is believed that the driver lost control of the midibus on a curve and veered into oncoming traffic.

Police are investigating a case of culpable homicide against the taxi drvier.

The head of the KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department, Chris Hlabisa, said truck drivers and pastors from various churches met at Mariannhill toll plaza to pray for the victims.

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