Is today the day I die? That was the question in a Pretoria man’s mind when he was involved a serious car accident on the N14 near Centurion, Gauteng, earlier this month.
He was driving back to Pretoria from Lanseria Airport where he’d dropped off some friends when the bad weather conditions and heavy rains caused him to lose control of his car, says Duwayne Adams (25), a call centre manager from Pretoria.
First, the car started drifting, he says. When it hit a manhole, the vehicle was propelled into the air and rolled at least four times before coming to a halt.
“You’d think I’d be terrified. But I wasn’t scared at all,” Duwayne says.
“I felt absolutely calm – as if God was there with me. I just recall gripping the steering wheel, the only thought in my head was, ‘Duwayne, Duwayne, is this the day your die? And is this how?’”
Every second felt like a lifetime, he adds. He didn’t know if he’d be getting out of the car alive.
“I recall thinking just before leaving the airport that I needed to drive carefully because the road was very wet. And I did – I drove slower and slower because it got increasingly difficult to see in front of me.
“But then I hit the puddle of water. And that feeling when your car starts flipping and flipping – you can’t describe it to anyone.”
When Duwayne’s car started drifting, it went into the oncoming traffic lane, then to the other side of the road, where he thought it would stop.
“I was just about to sigh with relief when I felt the wheel hitting a hole – a manhole. And then I was flying. It landed the driver’s side and started rolling. And rolling and rolling. It felt as if the car would never stop.
“At one point I let go of the steering wheel and covered my eyes with my hands. I was scared the windscreen would shatter and I’d get glass in my eyes.”
Then the car stopped.
“For a moment you’re totally out of it. You struggle to pull yourself together. But when I looked around me, and down at myself, I realised I’ve survived. I’m still here.”
The car landed on its wheels and Duwayne got out unassisted. He called his insurer, who towed away the wreck.
“I took myself to the doctor – there wasn’t even any need for an ambulance. The police officers couldn’t believe I was alive, and unhurt. They say that road is dangerous, that many people have lost their lives there.
“But I believe God was protecting me. And that’s why I’m alive today.”
A case has been opened at the Olievenhoutbosch police station in Centurion.