South Africa 9.9.2013 06:00 am

‘Ban trucks’ from Pinetown crash intersection

A scene from the Pinetown bus accident in Kwa-Zulu Natal. This picture was posted by Mark Easton on his facebook page.

A scene from the Pinetown bus accident in Kwa-Zulu Natal. This picture was posted by Mark Easton on his facebook page.

Calls have been made to immediately ban all heavy trucks from using Richmond Road and M13 intersection in Fields Hill, Pinetown, following a “horror crash” last week.

Ward councillor Rick Crouch said that the busy intersection should be closed to trucks in both directions, and that heavy-duty vehicles should be forced to use the N3.

“A task team was formed in 2012 to prove conclusively that, among other things, Fields Hill was not safe for large trucks to use,” said Crouch.

“This report was summarily dismissed … by the KwaZulu-Natal department of transport.”

 

The articulated truck that collided with four fully laden taxis and a light motor vehicle on the corners of Fieldshill (M13) and Richmond Road in Pinetown on 5 September 2013.  Picture ER24

The articulated truck that collided with four fully laden taxis and a light motor vehicle on the corners of Fieldshill (M13) and Richmond Road in Pinetown on 5 September 2013. Picture ER24. Click on the picture to watch the shocking eyewitness footage of the crash.

 

Crouch’s comments followed the deaths of 22 people and the injury of 32 others after a truck smashed into four taxis and a Volkswagen Golf at the intersection on Thursday night.

The man who was driving the truck at the time of the crash was arrested on Friday and charged with culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.

He will appear in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court today.

 

The remains of a taxi involved in the Pinetown collision. At least 24 people have been killed and 26 others sustained several injuries when an articulated truck collided with four fully laden taxis and a light motor vehicle on the corners of Fieldshill (M13) and Richmond Road in Pinetown this evening, 5 September 2013 The incident that occurred shortly before 19:00 had paramedics shocked when they arrived on scene and found people and debris scattered across the scene. Bystanders were flagging paramedics down and pointing in all directions where patients were strewn across the incident. Picture ER24

The remains of a taxi involved in the Pinetown collision.  Picture ER24

 

“Trucks are using that road to avoid tolls, which is why I’m demanding that the MEC stop all heavy trucks from using the road, while investigations continue,” said Crouch.

He added that traffic in general was still a problem at the intersection, not only trucks specifically, as the road acted as a main feeder point for taxis in the area.

Sagekal Logistics owner Gregory Govender said the cause of the accident was unclear and that the crash, involving a driver from his company, was deeply regretted, the Chatsworth Rising Sun reported.

“I am and will continue to co-operate fully with officials during the investigation,” he told the newspaper.

“Due to the sensitivity of the matter and the on-going investigation, I cannot comment further.”

 

WATCHEyewitness footage of the horrific Pinetown crash (Warning: Graphic)

 

Acting Premier Senzo Mchunu said the department was investigating the accident, and whether it could have been avoided, according to reports.

KwaZulu-Natal transport MEC Willies Mchunu said: “I have sanctioned a forensic investigation to look at all the possible causes of this accident”.

Confirmation on whether the road would be closed to trucks could not be obtained yesterday.

 

The articulated truck that collided with four fully laden taxis and a light motor vehicle on the corners of Fieldshill (M13) and Richmond Road in Pinetown on 5 September 2013.  Picture ER24

The articulated truck that collided with four fully laden taxis and a light motor vehicle on the corners of Fieldshill (M13) and Richmond Road in Pinetown on 5 September 2013. Picture ER24

 

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said the road carnage still taking place on highways was a challenge.

“Drastic action is required urgently to avoid a looming catastrophe that’s already costing our (economy) at least R306 billion each year,” she said.

“Greater attention needs to be paid to the policing of moving violations, such as dangerous overtaking and general reckless and negligent driving.”

Peters added that the department was in the process of reviewing several parts of the National Road Traffic Act to ensure that laws punish, without fear or favour, those who are “hell-bent on undermining every rule of the road under the sun”.

 

War Zone

Paramedic Shannon Charles could only describe Thursday evening’s horror crash as a “war zone”.

“One word comes to mind when I think of that accident scene: war zone. I give my condolences to all of the families who had loved ones in those vehicles,” Voluntary Emergency Medical Association operations manager, Charles told CNS.

He arrived on the scene at 6.15pm on Thursday. He said one car was side-swiped by the truck at the top of Field’s Hill and another two cars were hit near Jameson Terrace. Those affected had minor injuries.

“I can’t begin to describe what I saw. It has to be the most graphic scenes the Outer West has experienced in a long time,” said Charles.

“Derrick Banks from ER24 was the first on scene. At one time we had more patients than ambulances. However, he (Banks) said the emergency response was extremely well co-ordinated and all the officials worked together.

“We also received a fair amount of help from bystanders,” said Charles.

 

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