Shock after truck wrecks KZN house

2013-01-22 10:59
The scene after a Pietermaritzburg house was destroyed by a runaway truck. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

The scene after a Pietermaritzburg house was destroyed by a runaway truck. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A 24-hour security guard has been assigned to the house that was destroyed by a runaway truck in Cleland, Pietermaritzburg, on Friday morning.

The truck ploughed into the house after the driver had left it idling on an incline while he went to withdraw cash for food and fees.

As reported in the Weekend Witness, the truck rolled forward in CB Downes Road near the Polly Shortts Spar, knocked over a lamp post and crossed three roads and a field in its 500 metre unmanned journey until it hit a house.


The homeowner's daughter, Janine Maskell, 26, who was in Cape Town with her father when the accident happened, said her friend, Jade James, 25, told them about the incident. James was house-sitting while the Maskells were away.

“This is overwhelming … knowing that your entire life is taken from you,” Maskell told The Witness.

She said that when James - who went back home to her parents in Epworth after the accident - called her on Friday, she thought it was a joke. “It was only when I saw the picture that I realised it was serious.”

Maskell and her father returned to Pietermaritzburg on Friday night.

She said that when they arrived, their priority was to make sure that everyone was fine.

“We are not worried about material things.”

Maskell praised their neighbours for their help.

She would be staying with her fiancé and her father with family. They had recovered only their clothing from the house.

Maskell said they had lived in the house for about nine years and were insured.


Tanja de Kock, who lives with her fiancé in an outside room at the house, told The Witness that although they were shocked by what happened, they still felt safe and were not planning to move out.

“We have no problem.

“We still have electricity and water,” she said.

De Kock said the owner of the house, David Maskell, had been in touch with them since the accident happened.

“He calls to check if everything is still fine.”

The truck driver, Basil Chislett, said: “I had just arrived at the ATM but didn’t withdraw the money because I saw the truck and ran after it.”

Truck owners Right-Way Carriers declined to comment.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accidents

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