Block thrown off bridge causes crash

2015-06-25 10:23
Emergency services and bystanders look on at the two wrecked trucks that collided in Lions River yesterday morning, leaving three people dead.

Emergency services and bystanders look on at the two wrecked trucks that collided in Lions River yesterday morning, leaving three people dead. (Supplied)

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A LABOUR dispute that has turned nasty between Willowton Logistics and 24 of its 200 drivers may have resulted in the deaths of three people yesterday morning.

Three people died and a fourth was critically injured when two trucks collided on the N3 near the Lions River turnoff yesterday morning.

Circumstantial evidence from the accident has suggested that a large “concrete block” was thrown onto the Willowton truck as it drove under the Lions River Bridge, causing the driver to lose control and crash into a Honeydew truck.

When emergency services arrived on scene they had difficulty getting to the accident site and on to the scene to help those involved in the crash due to people looting cargo from the severely damaged trucks.

Howick SAPS Captain Pillay said they had no firm evidence to prove that the incident was the outcome of the labour dispute between the group and the striking drivers and the incident was still being investigated.

“SAPS on the scene found remnants of a concrete block on the road and inside the truck. There was blood on the rock found inside the Willowton truck. A case of culpable homicide has been opened,” he said.

Truck drivers from Willowton Logistics who began protesting on “organisational rights” within the group in early June are believed to be behind five other attacks on the group’s staff and other drivers over the last two weeks.

Willowton Group and Willowton Logistics director Shoaib Moosa alleged the drivers on strike have attacked a number of their truck drivers and also perpetrated a disturbing attack on the owners’ religion.

Moosa said that one of their trucks had been petrol bombed and four of their trucks stoned, with one of their drivers sustaining severe damage to one of his eyes when a rock shattered the truck’s windscreen.

“Not only are they endangering the lives of our staff, they are putting other people’s lives at risk too.”

Moosa said the company had taken out a court interdict against the 24 employees, prohibiting them from striking and participating in any dangerous activities that could put his staff and others in danger, in the hopes of bringing the attacks to a halt.

Moosa said that at the start of Ramadaan last week, one of the protesters threw an injured pig over the group’s perimeter fence in an attack on the owners’ religion.

He said he was deeply upset and saddened to hear of the deaths of one of his employees and two of Honeydew’s employees and hoped the police would catch the culprits soon.

A staff member from the Honeydew group, who would not be named, said they were deeply saddened at the loss of two of their employees

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accident
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