Hor­ror smash claims five fam­ily mem­bers

CityPress - - News - ATHANDIWE SABA athandiwe.saba@city­press.co.za

A sin­gle col­li­sion be­tween a BMW and a twin cab bakkie on the R61 be­tween Queen­stown and Tarkas­tad in the East­ern Cape has claimed seven lives.

Five of the dead be­longed to one fam­ily, and the rel­a­tives left be­hind are in shock.

“We had just spent Christ­mas to­gether and, on the 26th, we had a tra­di­tional cer­e­mony at home. We were all to­gether and now they are gone,” said fam­ily mem­ber No­golide Nkozwane.

Her son, Siyab­ulela, told City Press how he and the fam­ily re­ceived a call from the po­lice in the early hours of the morn­ing af­ter the crash.

“There was noth­ing that could pre­pare us for the news. One minute, they were with us, then, a few hours af­ter we had spo­ken to them to find out how they were trav­el­ling, we got the call from the po­lice,” he said.

Their story is like many oth­ers dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son – death by drunken driv­ing.

Siyab­ulela Nkozwane said his un­cles were trav­el­ling back to work in Cape Town. The twin cab was car­ry­ing eight fam­ily mem­bers, in­clud­ing his two un­cles, their wives and three chil­dren, one who was 10 years old and who died at the scene. Three fam­ily mem­bers sur­vived the crash – two chil­dren and a woman. One of the sur­viv­ing chil­dren lost both of his par­ents. As the car ap­proached a bend on the R61, a BMW came hurtling along in the wrong lane, crash­ing into the bakkie.

“The road is small and there is a bend, but it’s not so bad that one should be in­volved in such an accident,” he said.

The two oc­cu­pants of the BMW are dead.

Nkozwane said he had been told by eye­wit­nesses and those first on the scene that the BMW had been speed­ing and criss­cross­ing the road be­fore the crash.

“The car first on the scene told the po­lice the BMW driver had been driv­ing reck­lessly,” said Nkozwane.

He added that when the BMW was opened, there was a heavy smell of al­co­hol. Cou­pled with the reck­less driv­ing, there wasn’t much that could have stopped the accident.

“As a fam­ily, we are heart­bro­ken by this and it hap­pened be­cause peo­ple are reck­less on our roads and have no re­spect for other peo­ple’s lives,” he said.

“If driv­ers would re­spect the speed limit and if peo­ple re­spected the laws of no drink­ing and driv­ing, my fam­ily would not be go­ing through this.

“Now a child will have to go through life with­out both par­ents sim­ply be­cause one per­son did not care and would not re­spect the rules of the road.”

If driv­ers would re­spect the speed limit and if peo­ple re­spected the laws of no drink­ing and driv­ing, my fam­ily would not be go­ing through this

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