11 killed in two major accidents on KwaZulu-Natal roads

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Eleven people were killed in accidents in KZN.
Eleven people were killed in accidents in KZN.
Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo
  • Eleven people died in two major accidents in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.
  • The department of transport has urged drivers to be more responsible.
  • Authorities say the victims in one of the accidents are believed to have been copper thieves.

It's been a bloody start to the mid-year school holidays as 11 lives have been claimed on KwaZulu-Natal roads in just one weekend.

The department of transport on Monday expressed concern saying it was "disappointed" with drivers and called for road users to be "extra vigilant".

The first accident, took place on Sunday evening around 20:32, involving a bakkie and car on the P47 in Vryheid near Mondlo. Five people, all believed to be travelling in the same vehicle, died at the scene.

In another incident on the N3 in Cliffdale, between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, 10 people including a child were involved in an accident.

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Describing the scene as "gruesome", the department said the driver of a vehicle allegedly lost control while trying to avoid another car.

"Five people died on the scene and another person died on the way to hospital. The remaining occupants were then taken to RK Khan hospital and Northdale Hospital for medical attention."

The statement read:

Upon a closer investigation police discovered that the occupants of the vehicle were [allegedly] copper thieves as an undisclosed amount of copper was found in their vehicle. A case of theft was opened at the Hammarsdale Police station.

KwaZulu-Natal transport department's Siboniso Mbhele condemned irresponsible motorists and called for the rule of law to guide drivers.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of so many people in one weekend. Eleven lives is not a small number and such major crashes are heart-breaking. We have commissioned investigations [for] both the accidents, and we believe that where action needs to be taken, such [action] will be taken without hesitation. 

"The cost of these accidents to the economy are... huge. We will continue to increase vigilance as schools are closed for the winter holidays," said Mbhele.

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