Tow truck driver haunted by bridge death

2015-06-10 11:25
(Supplied, Netcare 911)

(Supplied, Netcare 911)

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Durban - A tow truck driver who tried to grab Durban hairstylist Julia Schreiner, 21, before she fell to her death from a bridge in Amanzimtoti over the weekend, has told how he is haunted by the incident.

Andre Ellis, the owner of the towing service, told Netwerk24 that he was about 30 metres from where Schreiner crashed her Mini Cooper in the early hours of Sunday morning.

"The lady came around the corner at a tremendous speed. She lost control of the car and ended up partly on the bridge railing," he said.

Ellis and his colleague rushed to the car and opened the passenger door so that the two occupants could climb out. Both appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, he said.

"I said they should go and sit in the tow truck. The lady said she wanted to go and relieve herself.

"I told her we would take her to a garage but she wouldn't listen," he said.

Schreiner apparently walked towards the bridge barrier and climbed over it, despite being warned not to.

"She then fell. I jumped closer and my fingertips touched her," Ellis said.


Ellis's colleague, tow truck driver Bobby Hale, had earlier told News24 that the incident was harrowing.

“[Ellis] reached out and got her jersey, but it wasn’t enough and she fell. It was one of the most hectic things I have ever seen in my life.”

Ellis said her death was the worst he had experienced in his 22 years in the industry.

When he closes his eyes, the events of that morning play out in his mind.

"Why I could not have been faster?

"I can see how my fingers just touched her."

Read more on:    durban  |  accidents

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