Gouda tractor driver, owner get bail

2012-01-31 22:47

Cape Town - The driver of a tractor involved in an accident which killed eight people was granted bail by the Tulbagh Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Isak Stuurman appeared with the owner of the vehicle, James van Rooyen, on eight charges of culpable homicide arising from the crash in Gouda, in the Western Cape, said National Prosecutions Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

The case was postponed until April 2 for further investigation, he said.

"We are likely to add more charges against the two as the investigation continues. The two are out on bail of R500 each."

The Caterpillar 631D earthmoving tractor, often used for road building, was on the Klein Berg River Bridge on Monday morning before the crash in which 22 people were injured.

Two trucks were approaching the bridge.

The first, on seeing the massive earthmoving vehicle on the bridge, was able to brake in time.

The second swerved, hit the stationary vehicle and then hit the tractor. The bed of the truck was ripped off and flung into the river.

Both trucks were legally compliant. The tractor however, was illegally on the road.

Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said he wanted murder charges brought against Van Rooyen.

  • Mhlophe - 2012-02-01 11:06

    OK so the tractor was on the road illegally, but clearly not the cause of the accident since the first truck, which was closer to it, was able to stop. The fault it would seem lies with the second truck, which after hitting the first still had enough momentum to hit the tractor. Sounds like the the second truck was not observing a safe following distance and possibly speeding. Secondly, was the truck(not bus) registered to carry so many passengers?

  • Danie - 2012-02-01 11:09

    "Murder" may be a bit strict on the one hand, but I understand the reasoning behind it. Very sad accident indeed. I am sure the owner of the tractor had no malicious intent but he also cannot allow his employees to have to use unlicensed equipment on a public road...

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