KwaZulu-Natal taxi driver blames missing man for ‘chicken crash’

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A minibus taxi driver who allegedly played the game “chicken”, which killed six people over three years ago, blames the other taxi driver for the collision.

Khulekani Ngubane’s version was on Wednesday put to Captain Dolf Otto, from the accident unit, who was being cross-examined in the Pietermaritzburg regional court. The collision took place in August 15, 2017 near Dalton. Ngubane was transporting pupils from school to home. There were only two people in the other taxi: the driver, who is currently on the run from police, and his conductor, who died at the scene.

Ngubane’s attorney, Dashnee Naidoo, told Otto her client said he knew there were potholes on the road. “Prior to the collision, he remembers safely avoiding a pothole by slightly overstepping the barrier line. He then safely returned to his lane. Would you be able to comment?”

Otto said the closest pothole in relation to where the collision occurred was 200 metres away. Naidoo said when Ngubane returned to his lane, “all of a sudden” the other driver flashed his lights as a greeting to him, and then swerved into Ngubane’s lane and both vehicles collided.

“Ngubane swerved into the other lane to avoid a collision but he could not because the other driver was travelling at 95km/h at the time.”
Dashnee Naidoo, Khulekani Ngubane’s attorney

In Otto’s main evidence, he said that there was a witness (from Ngubane’s taxi) who made a statement to the effect that he saw the other taxi driver flashing its headlights at them. Otto said that drivers play a game of chicken in which they drive at each other in the same lane until one swerves away.

On Wednesday, he said that the point of impact of the collision was in the centre lane and both vehicles were partially in each other’s lane.

ALSO READ: Homicide charge for Pietermaritzburg taxi driver after ‘game of chicken’ deaths

The attorney said that Ngubane swerved into the other lane to avoid a collision but he could not because the other driver was travelling at 95km/h at the time. In response, Otto said that Ngubane might have been driving too fast to take evasive action in time.

Naidoo added that the other driver was driving faster. The court has also heard that the other driver only had a learner’s licence, which Otto said he found in a plastic bag on the grass the day after the accident.

The trial continues next week.

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