Hearse driver to face charge after deadly crash

2016-09-12 11:00
The hearse that collided with a bakkie near Highflats, Ixopo, on Friday night. Seven people were killed and injured in the accident.

The hearse that collided with a bakkie near Highflats, Ixopo, on Friday night. Seven people were killed and injured in the accident. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - The driver of the hearse involved in an accident that killed seven people on Friday night is alleged to have been driving under the influence of alcohol.

The seven were among at least 16 people who were kill in road accidents in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.

Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Mxolisi Kaunda said in a statement on Sunday that the police have opened a case of culpable homicide against the driver of the hearse.

“The driver was also injured and is under arrest,” Kaunda said.

The hearse collided head-on with a bakkie ferrying four females and three males at around 18:45 on Friday, on the P68, between St Faith’s and Highflats, near Ixopo.

Three other people were injured in the accident, two of whom were transferred to Edendale Hospital.

Other accidents

Seven people were killed in three other accidents. On the N2 at Murchison, a mother and child were killed while crossing the road. The driver in that case ran away and is being sought by police.

There were also crashes on the N2 near Empangeni and at Lady­smith, Kaunda said.

Meanwhile, Netcare 911 said one person died and five were injured after a car overturned at Gcilima location, inland from the South Coast, about 8 pm on Saturday.

Netcare 911 paramedics, working with other emergency services at the scene, found one man dead and two others in a critical condition.

And in another accident, ER24 said three people were critically injured on Saturday evening after a truck and light vehicle collided on the N3 at Balgowan.

Paramedics found a container on top of a car, an injured man trapped inside the truck and a man and woman trapped inside the car. Specialised rescue tools were used to free the truck driver. A heavy crane was used to lift the truck and container off the light motor vehicle.

Also, five people were injured on Sunday morning when a light motor vehicle rear-ended another on the R33 in Copesville.

Meanwhile, one man has been killed and four others injured after two vehicles collided on the N3 near the Shongweni off-ramp in Shongweni.

Addressing families and relatives of the victims of the Highflats accident, Kaunda said they were “utterly devastated” by the accident — and others that happened elsewhere in the province — all of which could have been avoided.

Meanwhile, law enforcement roadblocks targeting buses ferrying young women going to Umkhosi WoMhlanga (Reed Dance) in Nongoma on Saturday led to the issuing of 224 charges for various defects, including driving without valid licences (48), unlicensed vehicles (40), overloading (three), unroadworthy tyres (20) and faulty brakes (five).

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accidents

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