Court hears of jogger's injuries

2013-11-12 20:47

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Pretoria - Details of serious injuries suffered by one of five joggers killed in Midrand when a car hit them two years ago, emerged in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Pathologist Dr Shirley Moeng, who performed an autopsy on Gaolojwe Isaac Tlale, testified that his multiple blunt force injuries indicated a high speed impact.

Apart from bleeding and swelling of the brain, Tlale had fractures of the spine and neck which in effect separated his head from his neck.

He also suffered pelvic fractures, broken ribs, contused lungs, a severed aorta in the upper chest, a severed gullet and windpipe and multiple fractures of his left arm and leg.

The evidence was presented in the trial of mechanical engineer Sibusiso Langa, who earlier this week pleaded not guilty to five charges of murder, one of attempted murder, and two of driving under the influence.

He allegedly drove his car into Tlale, 37, Reneilwe Lesenyeho, 31, Moroesi Margaret Mokoatsi, 35, Given Mills, 30, and Nomvula Regina Dumako while they were jogging on the gravel next to Lever Road, Midrand, on Saturday, 22 October  2011.

Abegail Khanyisa Stengile was seriously injured.

Metro police officer Bongani Nkosi testified he took Langa to a district surgeon in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, to have his blood drawn about three hours after the accident.

"In my opinion he tried to behave properly, but he appeared to be drowsy and was unable to walk properly. He looked like a person who was tired and had consumed a lot of alcohol. I could smell alcohol on his breath. At the district surgeon while we were waiting he at times fell asleep. Once awake, his only concern would be his vehicle," Nkosi testified.

He said he first took Langa for a breathalyser test at a testing centre in Johannesburg before taking him to the district surgeon.

Concerns over vehicle

Langa's lawyer Richard Mkhabela said his client would deny expressing concern about his vehicle.

Nkosi said Langa had mentioned several times that the people had been running in the middle of the road.

A police accident investigator, Warrant Officer Terry Murphy, testified that he examined Langa's Mercedes-Benz ML500 after the accident.

It was severely damaged on the front and driver's side and there were high-velocity blood splatters on it.

The car was highly sophisticated and expensive and fitted with an ABS braking system which prevented the wheels from locking and allowed the driver to retain control.

There were, however, signs that the front wheels had locked for a fraction of a second, causing short skid marks on the road.

Murphy stressed that the car's brakes had never been compromised and were "100% operational".

"I could find nothing in the mechanics of the vehicle which could have contributed to the incident or caused the driver to lose concentration," he said.

The trial continues.

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