Horror smash claims five family members
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