Truck demolishes home

2017-10-23 11:59
ABOVE: A truck crash-landed on top of the Khumalo house in Kyanite Close in Copesville early on Friday morning.

ABOVE: A truck crash-landed on top of the Khumalo house in Kyanite Close in Copesville early on Friday morning. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Mere “inches” separated four children from certain death after a truck and trailer crash landed on top of their home on Friday morning.

In what community members have described as a miracle, the four children walked away unscathed after a truck and its trailer landed on top of their Copesville home, smashing it to the ground.

This is the latest incident on the road, dubbed the “highway of horror”, that has left community members pleading with authorities to install traffic lights at the Copesville intersection and speed humps along the road.

The crash occurred while the truck was travelling along Bhambatha Road, commonly known as the Copesville Highway.

The driver, employed by North West Logistics, also survived the crash with minor lacerations but was sedated by paramedics and taken to Northdale for treatment.

Police spokesperson for the uMgungundlovu North cluster Captain Gay Ebrahim said that he would be charged with reckless and negligent driving.

It is believed the four children were alone at home as their father John Khumalo, a taxi driver, had left for work already. It is believed that soon after he received the news of the crash, he was also rushed to hospital suffering from high blood pressure.

At the scene, family, friends and neighbours could be seen lifting concrete slabs as they tried to salvage the family’s belongings. The women tried in vain to pack what clothes and bedding they could find among the rubble while the men removed the bigger items that survived the crash such as a deep freezer, sofas and a bed.

Director of North West Logistics Dirkie Loubser said they were informed about the accident yesterday morning and were “horrified” to hear what happened.

“We are just praising God that everyone survived and my prayers really go out to those children who had to experience something so traumatising. We will be doing everything to assist that family and make sure they are not left homeless,” Loubser said.


(Supplied)

He said that the company’s insurance assessors would be visiting the family to arrange alternative housing and calculate the cost of damages.

“We are also in contact with the ward councillor who is assisting us in finding the family a home for this weekend until all assessments are done,” he said.

Neighbours said they heard the “loud bang” at around 5.10 am yesterday and when they rushed outside, they found the truck on top of a mountain of rubble, where the light pink house once stood.

Ward councillor for the area and one of the first people on scene, Spha Madladla, said that at first they were not sure if anyone had survived the crash but after a short while, he could hear the children crying.

“We managed to locate them in a corner of the rubble and made a small hole for them to climb through. They must have been in the last bedroom when the truck landed and they survived the truck crash-landing on them by inches,” he said.

Madladla said the youngest of the children, a four-year-old girl, was the first child to be taken to safety followed by her older siblings. The eldest child is 15 years old.

Madladla, who is also a qualified paramedic, said he checked the children and found they were uninjured.

“We sent them to Northdale Hospital for a proper check up and then managed to pull the driver out of the window and I bandaged his lacerations and he too was taken to Northdale Hospital,” he said.

Madladla called on authorities to take heed of the community’s call for traffic lights to be installed at the intersection saying that “every accident on this road is a tragic one”.

“Looking at this house crushed to the ground, you don’t expect anyone to survive. It is a miracle that these children walked away safely. There are always accidents on this road and there is hardly a time where people survive these accidents here.”

He added that another truck crashed into a house on the same road.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accidents

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