Vryheid: 12 die in minibus accident

2010-06-23 00:00

TWELVE passengers of a minibus taxi, including a six-month-old baby and her mother, were killed when their taxi was crushed beyond repair by a runaway tanker in Vryheid in northern KwaZulu-Natal yesterday afternoon.

One other commuter and two passengers of the truck sustained serious injuries.

The horrific incident happened on the R34 outside Vryheid at about 1 pm.

“Among the dead were a six-month-old baby girl, who died with her mother, and a five-year-old girl,” said Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu.

“Eleven people died at the scene while one died at hospital,” she added.

Mngomezulu said the unhurt truck driver, who is originally from Zimbabwe, told police that his brakes failed.

“He said that after failing to apply brakes, the truck rolled straight into the oncoming minibus taxi,” said Mngomezulu.

She said the taxi was travelling from Vryheid to nearby kwa­Ngenendlini village.

“Among three people who sustained serious injuries, two were passengers of the truck. All three were taken to a hospital in Vryheid.

“It is not clear where the truck was coming from,” she said.

Another man was killed and 16 others were injured in a separate minibus taxi accident on the N2 near a Shell Ultra City stop on the south coast yesterday afternoon. The taxi was travelling to Margate.

“The taxi veered from the road and rolled several times before coming to rest on its roof in the slow lane. As the vehicle spun through the air, passengers were thrown from broken windows,” reported Netcare911 spokesperson Jeffrey Wicks.

Wicks said the man, whose age is unknown, was killed on impact. He said a passenger was critically injured.

“He sustained massive head trauma and was intubated and placed on a manual ventilator before he was airlifted by the Netcare3 aeromedical helicopter to a Durban hospital for further care.”

Wicks said that in another accident, seven people were injured, one seriously, when three cars collided on the M1 Higginson Highway bridge that runs over the N2 in the evening.

“A seven-year-old girl is fighting for her life in a Durban hospital after a horror car accident on the M25 KwaMashu Highway this evening. Her parents and brother were also seriously injured in the smash,” he said.

In a morning accident, a woman motorist was injured while trying to avoid a monkey in Durban North.

“It is thought that the monkey had run into the woman’s path. When she took evasive action she lost control of her car,” Wicks said.

“She sustained serious head and spinal trauma and was treated and stabilised at the scene.”

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