Truck crushes house

2013-01-28 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG family’s rotten luck continued on Saturday morning when a rubbish truck destroyed their home — the second time in four years.

A car and a bakkie were also crushed in the mayhem. Miraculously, only five people were injured.

But the Gwagwa family of Edendale will be counting the cost of the latest episode because their new home was not insured.

Their first home, on the same plot at the intersection of Bongudunga and Pata Main roads, was badly damaged when a municipal bakkie crashed into it in 2009.

The family have moved back into the old house, but fear another disaster.

“We did not sleep last night because we are afraid that this might happen again,” owner Nomzamo Gwagwa told The Witness yesterday.

The only member of the family who was injured — there were three in the house when the crash happened — was Asikhokuhle Gwagwa (3), who suffered minor facial injuries.

Three occupants in the truck were injured, one of them critically.

The truck also hit a car on the road moments before crashing into the house. Three people were in the car, one of whom was hurt.

When The Witness arrived on the scene, the occupants of the truck and the car, and Asikhokuhle, had already been taken to hospital.

Gwagwa’s granddaughter, Nosiphelo Gwagwa (21), said she was in the house with her daughter, Asikhokuhle, her brother’s daughter, Bayanda (2), and a man who was working as a builder for the family, Serame Mokoena.

“Asikhokuhle was with me in the lounge, and she got up and went to the bedroom where Bayanda was sleeping,” said Nosiphelo.

Then she heard a loud bang and saw the ceiling come down on them.

“I was worried about the children, but [Mokoena] went to the room and got them out safely,” she said.

Mokoena said it was dark when he went inside the house to look for the children.

“I asked them to make a noise so I could follow the sound. It was dark and I couldn’t even see where I was stepping,” Mokoena said.

“I found them, but I saw that someone was behind me, so I handed them over to him.”

Witness Nomusa Ngcobo said the truck was out of control and some of its wheels were off the ground.

“As the truck was at the top of the hill, I think the brakes failed, and it just started picking up speed. It was flying down the road.”

She said she saw the truck hit a car, a Toyota Corolla with a man, a woman and a child inside.

“The man miraculously got out of the car and just dusted himself off. He was not injured and neither was the woman. It was just the child who was hurt.”

Nomzamo Gwagwa’s bakkie, which was in the garage and was used to take children to and from school, was crushed.

She said neither the house nor the car was insured.

“I built this house myself. I do not have a husband. Everything in the house was paid for by me. Now it’s all gone,” she said tearfully.

Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said the municipality was bound to help the family.

“We are waiting for the insurance assessors to go there and assess the damage and they will come back to us.”

Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan said a case of reckless and negligent driving was being investigated.

The accident came just eight days after another truck ploughed into a house in Cleland.

Meanwhile, in a bad weekend on KwaZulu-Natal’s roads, five people died when their taxi crashed on the M4 in Durban on Saturday.

Another person died yesterday morning in a crash in Umhlanga.

Among those killed in the M4 crash was Faranaaz Alwar, a former teacher at South Coast Madressa School in Clairwood.

Alwar was also a contributor to the Al-Ansaar Foundation’s Al­Ummah newspaper and a presenter on the foundation’s radio station until about two years ago.

Alwar’s two-year-old daughter sustained fractures to both legs and her collar bone, while her husband and elder daughter were less seriously injured. Her funeral was held yesterday.

In another accident, a three-year-old girl was killed and six other people were injured in a head-on crash on the M25 highway near kwaMashu yesterday.

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