City TLB smashes cars

2020-01-20 15:00
Ten people were injured, amongst them high school children, in a multiple-vehicle collision on Dr Chota Motala Road in Mountain Rise on Saturday.

Ten people were injured, amongst them high school children, in a multiple-vehicle collision on Dr Chota Motala Road in Mountain Rise on Saturday.

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The fate of the Msunduzi tractor-loader-backhoe (TLB) driver, who ploughed into six vehicles and injured children from Wartburg Kirchdorf School on Saturday, hangs in the balance as he was alleged to have been drunk.

Ten people were injured in the multiple-vehicle collision on Dr Chota Motala Road, in Mountain Rise, that took more than two hours to clear.

Sources at City Hall alleged that the driver was drunk and pictures of one of the beer bottles found in the TLB also circulated on social media.

“Drunk driving is against the law and being intoxicated while on duty is also a fireable offence,” said one of them.

ER24 spokesperson Ineke van Huys­steen said seven people had minor injuries while three sustained moderate injuries.

City spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the children were taken to St Anne’s Hospital but were discharged later in the day after they were examined. She said the driver was arrested and the matter would be investigated.

“The municipality would like to place it on record that reckless behaviour will not be tolerated,” she said.

The TLB, which belongs to the cemetery department, was travelling from Mountain Rise towards the CBD but it was not yet clear where the driver was heading.

Neil Rajah, whose family was involved in the accident, said, his mother, brother and sister-in-law were recovering at home after being discharged from Northdale Hospital.

“They are okay but still in a lot of pain. They were quite shaken after it happened because anything could have happened there. My brother [Sadda] said the TLB lurched across the barrier and hit his car. He said it happened so fast, they didn’t even have time to react to try to avoid being hit.”

His mother, Mooniamah Kannie, was injured on her neck and Sadda and his wife were also treated for minor injuries as well as shock.

On Sunday, Deputy Mayor Manilal Inderjit said the City was grateful that there were no fatalities and wished those affected a speedy recovery.

He said in as much as the TLB belonged to the municipality, which had insurance for accidents, the City would conduct its own investigation into the matter and charge the driver accordingly. “He is going to face the highest form of disciplinary that is warranted. He must be held solely and fully accountable for the damages and if he must pay for the repairs from his pension, then so be it,” said Inderjit.

He would not be drawn into commenting on allegations that the TLB driver was intoxicated.

Mountain Rise police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joshua Maistry confirmed the TLB driver was arrested and detained for driving under the influence.

Muzi Mahlambi of the provincial Department of Education, said the Wartburg Kirchdorf School pupils were travelling in two minibuses, returning from a cricket match at Weston Agricultural College in Mooi River.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to the emergency service personnel who attended the scene. We also applaud the law enforcement officers who arrested the driver, who was said to have been intoxicated, because his reckless actions could have cost us many lives,” said Mahlambi.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accident
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