Harrismith horror crash victims IDed

2011-12-11 20:59

Johannesburg - Twenty-four of the 30 people who were killed in a weekend taxi accident on the N3 freeway near Harrismith have been identified, Free State police said on Sunday.

"Most of the families of the dead came from Tsolo, near Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape, to identify the bodies," Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said.

However, he said the names of the accident victims, who included 10 children, were not immediately available as paper work was still being concluded.

The collision between an overloaded taxi and a truck occurred at 03:00 on Saturday. Twenty-nine people died on the scene, one of them a baby. Another critically injured passenger from the truck died later in hospital.

Mophiring said the mother of an 18-month-old baby who was injured in the crash, was found to be among the other survivors in hospital.

He could not immediately confirm the exact total number of survivors still in hospital or their condition, but Mophiring said the truck driver was discharged later on Saturday.

Families were urged to identify the six remaining bodies at the state mortuary in Phuthaditjhaba.

Mophiring said the taxi had been carrying 35 people, but was only certified to carry 23.

It was believed that the driver had lost control of the minibus on a curve along the road and veered into oncoming traffic.

Seven people were admitted at various hospitals in a serious condition. The taxi was on its way from Johannesburg to Mthatha.

Police were investigating a case of culpable homicide.

  • Dirk - 2011-12-11 21:14

    this is sad!

      procold2 - 2011-12-12 08:16

      sad but true, dont know when gov is going to take action and try and regulate this industry

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2011-12-12 09:34

      Whats sad is that every other industry , whether private or public has the highest safety regulation and monitoring ,when people lose lives they are held to book . The only one who gets a free ride is the Taxi industry who provide a public service , lets bring up the deaths from mine accidents versus taxi accidents ? even bus accidents to taxi. One can only think that the RAF corruption gravey train and it being the taxi industries insurance agent has nothing to do with it.

  • Dirk - 2011-12-11 21:15

    Was the taxi allowed 23 or 35 at the end of the day people lost their life`s.....

  • Alva - 2011-12-11 21:27

    Sh*t! When will this carnage end? Black Xmas already?

  • Itumeleng - 2011-12-11 21:37

    do we have traffic officers on the road during this peak time to monitor such? how could this killer taxi be allowed to leave Jo'burg and reach Harrismith? it's along way to have been missed, somebody must do his job

      alexander721 - 2011-12-11 21:50

      what peak time, it was 3 in the morning

      kenneth.roselt - 2011-12-12 07:31

      If you drive the DBN route at all, you'll see these taxi's have no regard for other road users, they come up typ overtake at speed, and have their lights on bright - they don't care, and i think the next taxi accident where lives are lost, that the minister himself MUST be charged for the murders, as he does absolutely NOTHING about it.

      owamin1 - 2011-12-12 10:38

      they travel in the dead of the night, precisely to avoid traffic officers. By the time the sun rises, they want to be in Eastern Cape already where there seems to be poor traffic control. The accident happens at 3am - what time did it leave Joburg!

  • somgidas - 2011-12-11 21:45

    Sorry to the families/friends,etc... when the taxi left the rank where was the rank manager. So many lives lost within a blink of an eye, its troubling!

  • alexander721 - 2011-12-11 21:49

    once agian, authorites are ignoring the calls to get tough on taxi's. unfortunate as it may be that the people cannot afford alternative transport, it is the taxi drivers who once agian flout the law and the end result is more unnecessary dead victims. the taxi organisation should be shut when an accident and fatalities occur, it is the only way

  • Richard - 2011-12-11 22:46

    How very very sad. Until such time as our "law enforcement" officers can find the time and resources to monitor this kind of thing I'm afraid it will continue.

  • Natasha Vedda Calafate - 2011-12-11 23:01

    This is very sad. And it boils down to greed by the taxis. All these precious lives lost for a few extra Rands.

  • maria.kruse2 - 2011-12-12 05:08

    The taxi owners are never mentioned. Surely they should exercise greater contol over their business. Maybe the whole country should strike until alternative transport is available for the poor people that have no choice.

  • Jamie - 2011-12-12 07:51

    The problem is that the police blame drink driving and other forms of transport for the high holiday seasons death tolls. This covers Christmas, Easter etc. However when you check that statistics by vehicle type, you find that the vast amjority of deaths are taxi related yet the police do little to curb this menace as a number of police are involved in the taxi industry who also pays it's "dues" to avoid harassment as they put it.

  • pieterla - 2011-12-12 08:06

    Went past the scene where the accident took place on Saturday coming from Durban. It was shocking to see it up close. So unnecessary!

  • Nyati_Photo - 2011-12-12 08:11

    This is murder, if the driver survived he should be locked away forever

  • Warwick - 2011-12-12 08:40

    And they get rewarded with free tolls.

  • Craig - 2011-12-12 09:34

    That is 48 people killed in two accidents involving taxis and trucks, on both occassions the taxis were in the wrong side of the road, when if ever are those responsible for safety on our roads going to be held responsible for the carnage create by unscrupulous taxi owners and driver that the authorities are 2 incompetent to deal with.

  • jade.neil - 2011-12-12 10:37

    and they talk about not having one drink during the festive season????!!!!!!! My goodness, they don't realise that you DO NOT need to have ANYTHING to drink AND still have a horrific accident!!!!! Of course, I am not condoning the fact that we should binge drink and then get behind the wheel. But I think it's pretty obvious that you can be stone cold sober, and still kill people (even more in fact than when you would be drunk) Gov please do something about this

  • Darryl - 2011-12-12 10:55

    Culpable homicide????? What the hell?? The taxi driver and the taxi boss must both be charged for murder. This carnage has gone on long enough and innocent ppl are being killed.These drivers do not care about the passengers lives of=r safety, just money money. It is time for our bloody minister now to stop talking, get off his fat lazy ass and hit these taxi boss's and drivers hard and where it hurts, because words dont do it. All overloaded taxi's, unroadworthy, taxi's with outstanding fine's should all be impounded end of story. How many more lives need to be lost before something gets done?? Whats the point of this Arrive Alive campagne if there is no strict action taken against these death traps on the roads.

  • Mohsin - 2011-12-12 13:49

    traffic cops need to come out from behind the bush and conduct meaningful pull overs for more serious traffic violations like over loading and drunk drivers! not make money from motorist who are a few kms over the limit which is ridiculously low at some places almost making it impossible to not get a fine which is another way the government is stealing money from us!

  • Erin - 2011-12-13 10:50

    Apart from the taxi driver here, I think it also has a lot to do with the passangers. Firstly its utter insanity that the driver would allow 35 people to squeeze into a 15 max passanger taxi, but for the passangers to all hop on when they themselves can clearly see its overloaded is the hight of stupidity. Some people lack that rare commodity called common sense! How many taxis are out there? It is completely unneccesary for passangers to risk their own lives like this.

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