TOTAL devastation for seven families who lost loved ones in the horrific head-on between two taxis as the drivers played a reckless game of “chicken”. One vehicle was ripped to bits while the other burst into flames.
Six pupils, between the ages of 12 and 17, who were attending Cool Air and Matatane High School and taxi conductor Thanda Dladla died in the accident.
The six young victims were Billy Ngubane and Senamile Ngubane – both 12, and teenagers Mthokozisi Mgube, Sandile Zondi, Wendy Zondi and Nosipho Myaka. The driver of the taxi, which hit the oncoming vehicle, Khulekani Ngubane, is in a critical condition in hospital.
EMRS reports that a further 14 were injured – seven are in a critical condition. Paramedics from various services treated and stablised the injured before transporting them to various hospitals.
At about 5pm last Friday the two taxis were travelling on the Dalton-Tongaat road in the Mount Elias area, and were allegedly playing “the chicken game”, but one driver was unable to pull back and hit the oncoming taxi. Dalton Taxi Association chairman Sakhe Mchunu said: “It is more than just a game - it is madness, drivers’ madness, insanity.”
Local farmer, Mark Myers was in his office
when he heard the loud crash and rushed to the scene on his motor bike and found school children lying all over road.
When he saw that one of the taxis was bursting into flames, he dashed back to fetch the farm tanker and doused the fire as much as possible. He described the scene as “absolutely horrific”.
KZN Transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda, who visited the
scene and the families of the victims, said that the “chicken game” was dangerous, unacceptable and had cost the lives of young and bright pupils while bringing so much grief to the families and friends.
He said that when there had been cases of negligence in an accident, “those people must face murder charges”.