Nick-of-time escape before speeding taxi crashes into house

2017-12-29 13:45
Pho (left) and Enock Zuma walk through the rubble that remained after a taxi crashed into their home in Haniville on Wednesday evening.

Pho (left) and Enock Zuma walk through the rubble that remained after a taxi crashed into their home in Haniville on Wednesday evening. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Haniville woman was left traumatised after a minibus taxi plunged into her house, missing her three children by centimetres.

Flora Zuma said this was the sixth incident a vehicle has crashed into her house because of the steep road with sharp bends leading to her home.

The latest incident happened on Wednesday afternoon just before 5pm, when Zuma was walking towards the gate to wait for a taxi to go to work. She said she saw a minibus taxi speeding down the road.

“The taxi was speeding down the road and I just knew that it wouldn’t make it past the bend.”

She said she sprinted to the bottom of the veranda and told the three children — aged nine, 11 and 24 — who were sitting in the sitting room, to run towards the kitchen, and she also ran to the other side of the house.

Zuma said a few moments later the minibus taxi was launched inside their living room, on top of the couch that her 24-year-old daughter had been sitting on only seconds before.

“If I had already left or hadn’t told them to run, they would have died,” she said.

Her daughter, Nontobeko Mchunu, said she was still shaken after seeing the damage to the couch she had been sitting on.

No one in the house was injured but the entire back wall of the sitting room was demolished.

Zuma said this was the second time that a taxi, owned by the same person, crashed into her home.

She said in a space of less than 10 years there had been six different incidents where vehicles crashed into her house.

“We erected an iron pole above the house and fenced our yard with bricks to prevent such incidents, but the taxi still managed to crash through and dragged that iron pole into our sitting room,” she said.

Two people were reported to have sustained serious injuries when the taxi crashed into the house.

Msunduzi fire department station officer Shawn Bonthuys said eight other people from the taxi were also injured and taken to hospital.

It was believed that the taxi driver had lost control of the vehicle.

“There was blood everywhere, some people were lying in my garden and on the veranda and some across the road. It was a horrible sight, we’re just grateful no one died,” said Zuma.

“We have been reporting these incidents to our councillors, but nothing has been done.”

Zuma said their current ward councillor, Spha Madlala, attended the scene on Wednesday and had promised to help them.

She said they want the municipality to erect speed humps and barriers along the road, and she also pleaded with motorists, especially taxi drivers, to drive at a low speed.

Madlala said he went to inspect the area on Thursday with the municipal roads department.

“There is an urgent need for speed humps on that road, but the road department said the road was too steep for speed humps, but they said would try to come up with a plan to deal with the problem and include it in next year’s budget, because that road is an accident waiting to happen,” said Madlala.

The ward councillor said there were numerous plans to deal with the steep roads in the Haniville and Copesville areas, including putting up traffic lights at the Copesville intersection where a truck plunged into a house recently.

Madlala also said the owner of the taxi had reassured them that his insurance company would repair the damaged house.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accidents

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