Ambulance crash - alcohol found in vehicle

2011-05-12 20:26

Johannesburg - An Eastern Cape accident on Wednesday, in which three St Elizabeth Hospital patients died and nine others were injured, may have been caused by drunk driving, the health department said.

Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the accident occurred on the R61 road near Lusikisiki, where a patient transport vehicle collided with a truck.

"A few broken bottles of alcohol were found in the patient transport vehicle," he said.

The driver of the vehicle was transporting 12 patients from Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital back to St Elizabeth Hospital, after they had received specialist care.

"They collided head on with a truck... three patients, two males, and one female, died instantly."

All the patients were adults. The nine others were seriously injured and taken to hospital, while the driver was in a critical condition.

The injured were all taken to St Barnabas Hospital.

"We were totally shocked to find the alcohol in the vehicle. You are not permitted to transport alcohol in a state-owned car."

The department was working with doctors and police to have blood tests done on the driver. This would indicate whether he was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

"Even if he is under the legal limit, but is found with slightest amount of alcohol in his blood, we will institute disciplinary procedures.

"Action will also be taken in a court of law, in terms of traffic rules," Kupelo said.

  • Accountant - 2011-05-12 20:45

    Now we are not even safe in ambulances!!

      Gen - 2011-05-12 22:05

      The driver will drink to that.

  • SilentGenius - 2011-05-12 21:48

    Maybe some of the patients bought some alcohol on their way home and that is the bottles found in the ambulance. Remember they stay far away from any bottle store.

      Skyward - 2011-08-02 12:46

      Law is Law. You are not permitted to transport drinking-alcohol in state-owned vehicles. Regardless of sober or not.

  • william.botha - 2011-05-12 22:13

    Alcohol should be banned for human consumption. It is a drug just like any other mind altering substance.

      DeonL - 2011-05-13 11:27

      Red wine has been shown to be helpfull in prevention of heart disease and in general it relaxes people, but should be taken in small qauntities.

      tryanything - 2011-05-14 18:42

      How can you say that.....think of the vat lost on all the liquor sales,lost by the undertakers the loss of tax paid by panelbeaters. we are a vice financed country. Insurance claims will drop and assessors wont get their kickbacks. Tow truck drivers will not get their kickbacks from the panelbeaters and cops wont make sales of KFC. People wont speed and metro cops wont make budget. No....I do not own a panelbeater, bottle store or undertakers .

      Salvation - 2011-08-23 10:23

      @tryanything: precisely why tobacco which in comparison causes substantially less trauma, household disturbances, public disorder... Oh yes, we don't have a local tobacco producing industry to my awareness other than that 'green tobach' which, if legalized will bring massive amounts of taxes into the coffers. @william.botha: I doubt banning the substance would be considered but agree entirely about it being a mind altering substance and possibly should, because of the outcomes disclosed to 'tryanything', be more heavily taxed in an attempt to limit consumption. Ever thought that, after the legally recognized 2nd drink 'one is under the influence' but the establishment, as a reasonable (can reason lucidly), continues to sell the consumer the substance assisting the potential DUI charges, not perhaps 'aiding and abetting in a criminal act'??? As for the article, nothing new considering the additional claims of illegal transportation which happens: taxi, farm produce, etc.

      Kahki Boshoff - 2011-09-29 10:41

      ja, then we should also ban stones,knives,taxies and politicians and police and everything else that causes harm.

  • Stacey.S - 2011-05-13 08:00

    lol, now what to say? alcohol in a ambulance?

      daaivark - 2011-05-13 08:43


  • Bennie - 2011-05-13 09:23

    This is all taken out of context - they were on their way to a fancy dress party , and were picking up some revvs on the way !!

  • JackMeoff - 2011-05-13 10:51

    i-Africa ! why am i not surprised ? One can only feel sorry for those poor victims being driven by ignorant, drunk morons.

  • fracham - 2011-05-13 11:13

    Confucius says when confused have an alcohol transfusion

  • mamakalami - 2011-05-13 11:14

    12 patients in an ambulance? What sort of ambulance was this? I would bring alcohol too if someone was sitting on top of me for that distance.

      DeonL - 2011-05-13 11:25

      Some ambulances are changed into taxi like vehicles, where everyone is sitting.

  • Papsak - 2011-05-13 11:57

    Were any of the battles green? I suspect what the spokesperson saw on the accident scene were these brown medicine bottles, some of this medicine contains alcohol. Upon being discharged, these patient get given medicine.

  • Paul - 2011-05-13 15:22

    you all have it wrong. The alcohol was actually part of the medicine chest. As anybody who has had any training in the medical field knows it is used to clean wounds. Clean one, drink one makes it easy to stomach the blood. Joking aside- condolences to the families and a speedy recovery to those injured.

  • limukani.moyo - 2011-05-14 01:01

    If there was no accident there was not going to be aware that he was drunk all public servant found in this bad manner must be totally barned.

      Kahki Boshoff - 2011-09-29 10:36

      yes , lets barn them

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