Spate of KZN truck accidents

2008-01-10 00:00

A SPATE of truck accidents has left almost 20 people, including 17 soldiers, injured in KZN.

On Tuesday night, a pile-up involving four trucks, four cars and two buses on the N3 near Windy Corner at Van Reenen in rain and misty conditions left one person seriously injured.

Captain Charmaine Struwig said the chain of events started when a truck travelling inland rear-ended another.

A secondary collision occurred while emergency personnel and towing vehicles were busy clearing up the scene when a bus travelling towards Durban collided with a Toyota Tazz travelling in the opposite direction.

The Tazz veered across the road and collided with the towing vehicles and an ambulance.

“A second bus and truck, travelling towards Johannesburg, then also collided into the vehicles at the scene of the collision,” said Struwig.

The road was closed for three hours while emergency personnel cleared up the scene.

Struwig said the driver of the Tazz sustained serious injuries, while three passengers in one of the buses sustained minor injuries.

Near Hidcote on Tuesday night, an army truck overturned and landed on an embankment after it was apparently side-swiped by another truck.

The 17 soldiers in the truck were injured. “It was a side-swipe collision and the heavy-duty truck pushed the army vehicle down the embankment,” said Transport Department spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu, adding it is suspected that the driver fell asleep.

The horse-and-trailer crossed the median and landed on the southbound lane blocking oncoming traffic. Mngomezulu said the road was closed for five hours.

Netcare 911 spokesman, Chris Botha, said the injured were rushed to Estcourt Hospital. “Five were critically injured, three had serious injuries and nine sustained minor bruises,” said Botha. He said the five critically injured patients were transferred to a hospital in Pietermaritzburg yesterday morning.

Near Pietermaritzburg, a City Velocity truck overturned near the Peter Brown Drive off-ramp on the N3 yesterday morning. Mngomezulu said the the truck failed to negotiate a turn, apparently while speeding.

The incident left two people seriously injured. The road was closed for some hours and traffic was diverted through the city.

On Fields Hill near Pinetown, a truck driver was critically injured after he apparently jumped from his truck after losing control of it.

“It is believed that the driver’s truck may have had mechanical faults, so he decided to save himself by jumping out of the truck,” said Derrick Banks of ER24.

The runaway truck rolled 20 metres down the road before crashing through the roadside barrier and rolling on to its side down an embankment into a nursery. It is believed that the driver was alone when the accident occurred, said Banks.

No workers were in the area of the nursery where the truck landed.

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