A TAXI accident on the N3 northbound on Sunday evening, which killed four people, was a scene of horror, according to the tow truck driver who was the first to attend to the accident. One of the four passengers died in hospital. Several others were seriously injured.
The driver of the tow truck, Conrad Terry, said he was flagged down by the driver of the taxi, who had managed to get out of the vehicle, up the embankment and on to the side of the freeway.
“When I got down there it was bad; there were bodies scattered everywhere at the accident scene.”
Jeff Wicks of Netcare 911 said that upon arrival, paramedics found the crushed shell of the minibus standing on its wheels in a riverbed at the bottom of the embankment.
The injured and bodies of the dead littered the riverbed with pieces of the taxi and items of luggage.
He said the slope was steep and slippery, and a special Netcare 911 rescue unit was called to assist.
A high-angle rope system was used to haul the injured to ambulances at the roadside, where they were stabilised and taken to hospital.
Captain Dolf Otto of the Pietermaritzburg collision unit said they suspect the accident was caused by the bad weather.
He said the taxi was travelling from the Eastern Cape to Johannesburg. It smashed through a roadside barrier and went down a steep embankment, coming to a stop in a riverbed.
“When we got here it was horrible. We found all the passengers scattered all over the area,” he said.
“Three people died at the scene, including a girl whose age we estimate was about 16.”
He described the accident scene as utter chaos.
“At one point, the entire city’s ambulances seemed to be here.”
Otto said the police will investigate the cause of the accident thoroughly and the taxi will be taken for testing.
In other accidents, a six-year-old girl was killed and her father injured on Sunday when their car rolled repeatedly on the N2 northbound near Durban International Airport.
A man was killed when his car collided with a truck on the N3 Durban-bound near Ashburton on Sunday morning.