UPDATE | Woman who died after falling from N3 bridge was ‘drunk’, police say no foul play suspected

2020-01-18 14:00
(Getty Images).

(Getty Images).

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The woman who died after falling from a bridge on the N3 near Pinetown on Friday was not thrown from the bridge by her boyfriend as earlier reported. 

According to police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele, the 20-year-old woman, Andile Meyiwa, was intoxicated and fell from the bridge while she and two friends were waiting for her boyfriend to arrive to give them a lift home. 

Several news outlets earlier reported that the boyfriend allegedly threw Meyiwa from the bridge following an argument, based on comment by a Community News Network media liaison, but Mbele said no foul play is suspected. 

According to Mbele, Meyiwa, together with two 18-year-old friends, left for Durban on Friday morning to enquire at colleges for further education. 

At about 18:00, they hitched a lift in a blue VW Golf.

"En route, the male driver offered the three girls alcohol which they consumed. At the Assagay turn-off on the N3, the girls decided to get out of the vehicle. The vehicle drove away, leaving the girls.

"The deceased then phoned her boyfriend to pick them up from the N3."

Mbele said the boyfriend suggested they walk towards the toll plaza where it would be more convenient to pick them up.

"By this time the girls were intoxicated," Mbele said.

Joked about jumping

"The deceased then got on to the ledge of the bridge and jokingly told her friends that she will jump off the bridge. The two friends continued to walk, leaving the deceased to walk on the ledge of the bridge. The two friends stopped and told the deceased to get off and they proceeded.

"The deceased then fell off the bridge into the gorge below."

Mbele said the case has been reported at the Hillcrest police station and that statements from the two friends had been obtained. "No foul play is suspected at this stage."

ER24 spokesperson Ineke van Huyssteen said paramedics arrived at the scene shortly after 22:30 to find the police already in attendance.

"They showed paramedics where she was lying, approximately 40 metres down in a gorge. ER24 started with the rescue until the various rescue teams arrived to assist. The SAPS Search and Rescue, Mountain Rescue and Metro Rescue all assisted with retrieving the woman from down below."

The rescue took around two hours, said Van Huyssteen. 

"Once she was safely brought back up, ER24 paramedics found that she had sustained critical injuries and advanced life support interventions were immediately initiated. She was transported to the hospital for further medical care but, unfortunately, a short while later she had succumbed to her multiple injuries in the hospital and was declared dead."

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that no foul play is suspected in the woman's death.

Read more on:    pinetown  |  accident
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