Waterkloof Four member in bad crash

2014-05-30 00:00

A PRETORIA woman is in a critical condition in hospital after her car was apparently hit by one belonging to member of the so-called Waterkloof Four.

A charge of reckless and negligent driving was opened against Reinach Tiedt, who was released on parole in February along with Gert van Schalkwyk, Frikkie du Preez and Christoff Bekker, after he allegedly lost control of his car on Tuesday afternoon and crashed head on with Colette Lippold’s car.

Tiedt was slightly injured in the accident which occured at around 2.30 pm.

However, Lippold suffered severe injuries, including several broken ribs, a punctured lung and a tear to her liver.

A family member said her liver function is deteriorating.

Lippold was driving home after fetching her two sons, Robin (11) and Ruan (8) from school. The children suffered less severe injuries and have been discharged from hospital.

An eyewitness who didn’t want to give her name said it looked as if Tiedt lost control of his car as he came round a corner.

“It looked as if he turned the steering wheel all the way to the right. He lost control of his car and landed in the opposite lane. He hit the car in front of me [Lippold’s] head-on.”

Another witness, Lee Spies, said the car came round the corner “very fast”.

“The car’s left front wheel caught the kerb. It looked as if the driver lost control and swerved to the right in front of the oncoming car,” she said.

She was also fetching her children from school. “If I’d left the school two seconds later that car would have landed on me,” she said.

Photographs taken by witnesses at the accident scene show alcohol cans, some full and some empty, strewn around Tiedt’s car. Half of a six-pack of booze lay on the back seat.

Police spokesperson Dave Miller said a charge of reckless and negligent driving is being investigated. “No charges of drunk driving are being investigated at the moment, but if it comes to light, drunk driving could be added to the charge sheet.”

Jenny Brewes, Tiedt’s lawyer, said she couldn’t comment because she was not aware of the accident, but she added that people are far too quick to believe the worst and that anyone could have “planted” the alcohol on the scene.

Tiedt’s father, Chris, confirmed that his son was in an accident, but declined to say more.

The Waterkloof Four were jailed for beating a still-unidentified homeless man to death in a Pretoria park. They were freed on parole in February, but two of them, Du Preez and Bekker, are back in jail after violating their parole conditions.

Tiedt's parole could be suspended

BECAUSE Reinach Tiedt is still under strict parole conditions, the accident could lead to the suspension of his parole, depending on his transgressions.

Correctional Services spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said a committee of department officials will follow up on the case and provide a thorough report. “They will seek information from police and the hospital, and hand their findings to the department to decide on.”

He declined to speculate on whether Tiedt would lose his parole. “Everything is still hearsay and the facts have to be confirmed before a decision can be taken.”

He said he was shocked to hear that the drivers had not been tested for alcohol by police at the scene.

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