Truck drivers explain how they saved lives in floods

2016-11-10 15:40
Johannesburg floods. (News24)

Johannesburg floods. (News24)

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Johannesburg - Wednesday afternoon was just another day of work for truck drivers Luca Boda and Vuyani Dingiswayo. Until it wasn't.

They were travelling in separate trucks on the N3 in the Linksfield area on Wednesday afternoon when heavy rain turned into flash floods.

According to 25-year-old Boda, they were moving slowly in the traffic as rain battered down and the wind howled. Cars were pulling over and stopping because it was so bad. After a while, traffic came to a dead stop.

“Then, after about 30 minutes, I saw cars floating down the road like boats,” he told News24 on Thursday.

Dingiswayo, 31, said he was “shocked and surprised” by what he saw.

“I could see the cars far down the road floating. Before I knew what was happening, you could see people in trouble.”

Seven people saved

GALLERY: Chaos as flash floods hit Joburg

Dingiswayo and Boda first tried to save a woman whose car filled with water.

“I used the belt from the truck to fasten myself while Lucas anchored me and I went to get her,” Dingiswayo said.

“We tried so hard to save her, but she died. It will haunt me forever. I could not sleep thinking about it.”

Using the same technique, they managed to bring seven people to the safety of the trailers hitched to their trucks.

“There were many that were screaming for help and we took them out of their cars. There were a lot of people sitting on top of our trailers,” Dingiswayo said.

Making the effort to help others was something everyone had to do, he said.

“How can I just sit and watch people drowning and screaming? I have to go and help everyone I can. It is important.”

“You cannot leave your people to just suffer,” Boda agreed.

Donald Stockhall, one of the directors at truck company DPMM, said he was proud of his drivers.

“Whatever they did, they took the initiative themselves. We encourage them, when there is space to do so, to offer assistance without getting into trouble or putting themselves into a spot.”

Stockhall said he was not concerned about his vehicles.

“The trucks, the trailers, can all be replaced, but drivers, that is different.”

Here are the affected areas:

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  floods

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