National 17.8.2016 08:05 pm

5 cars plunge off Sandton bridge in 18 months

The Belgrave Street low-level bridge in River Club has seen numerous cars ending up in the Braamfontein Spruit. Picture: Sandton Chronicle.

The Belgrave Street low-level bridge in River Club has seen numerous cars ending up in the Braamfontein Spruit. Picture: Sandton Chronicle.

A Mercedes was the most recent vehicle to take the plunge into the Braamfontein Spruit earlier this month.

The low-lying bridge on Belgrave Street in Bryanston, Sandton is notoriously dangerous, and the Bryanston River Club Community Forum have demonstrated just how problematic the bridge is after they posted photos on Facebook of five vehicles that had plunged off the bridge in the past 18 months.

A screen-shot from the Bryanston, River Club Community Forum Facebook page.

A screen-shot from the Bryanston, River Club Community Forum Facebook page.

While flooding has been the most common reason for why cars have driven into the spruit while attempting to cross the low-lying bridge, the most recent incident took place earlier this month in dry weather at night, as the Sandton Chronicle reports. A Mercedes plunged over the side of the bridge, but in a strange event, the vehicle was left in the river for days. The keys were even left in the ignition.

A domestic worker in the area was woken by the commotion. “I heard a loud crash at about five in the morning. When I got out to see what had happened, security and police were already on the scene,” said the worker, who did not give her name.

Clarity on the vehicle’s removal is yet to be determined, but Johannesburg Metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar was last week quoted as saying that the owner of the vehicle would be held responsible for its removal from the spruit.

“It is up to the owner of the vehicle to organise removal,” he said.

“What we sometimes find is that the driver is traumatised and flees the scene. According to regulation, we give the owner a seven-day grace period to remove the vehicle.”

Earlier this year, Sandton security guard Frank Nolela‘s car was swept into the spruit as he tried to cross the flooded bridge on his way to work. The Bryanston, River Club community clubbed together to help him with funds following the incident.

Ward 103 councillor Vincent Earp has escalated the issue of the dangerous bridge to the Johannesburg Roads Agency. “This cannot continue. They must make the low-lying bridge safer for road users,” said Earp.

Caxton News Service

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