Victims describe horrifying crash

2013-06-15 00:00

“THE truck came down on us like a train. Cars flew through the air. I tried to put my car in gear but it was too late.”

A bloodied Johnny Perreira (56) was describing the moments before a runaway truck hit his car in Roodepoort yesterday.

Three people were killed when an empty coal truck hit 15 other vehicles next to the Flora Clinic hospital. Eighteen people were injured in the accident, including Perreira and his friend Lourens Bester (42), who were lightly injured.

“I turned to Lourens and said: ‘We going to die today, my friend’. When the truck hit us, I thought I was dying.”

Perreira said the accident scene was like something out of a film. “People were falling out of their cars. There was blood and guts.”

Larincha Cooney, a receptionist at the Flora Clinic oncology centre, said: “It was quiet. No sound of brakes and then a loud bang. I thought it was an earthquake.

“The sisters and other nursing staff ran to the scene to help the injured.”

Paramedics followed close on their heels. Staff ran out with hospital beds to take the injured straight into the trauma ward.

“Blood was running down the street. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Cooney.

Johannesburg Metro Police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said the truck driver lost control on a slope along the busy William Nichol Drive.

He ploughed into vehicles in front of him, crossed an intersection and hit more stationary vehicles head on.

Fourteen cars and a truck were hit. Another eight vehicles parked at the clinic were also damaged.

The accident happened at around noon, and by 6 pm, emergency personnel were still on scene clearing up. The scene was strewn with glass shards, pieces of wrecked cars, shoes, sunglasses and papers.

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