Fa­tal crash driver tests pos­i­tive for al­co­hol

Daily News - - NEWS - DAILY NEWS RE­PORTER

THE driver of the truck in­volved in a crash in which eight peo­ple were killed in Nquthu in north­ern KZN on Sun­day tested pos­i­tive for al­co­hol and will face eight counts of cul­pa­ble homi­cide.

The un­named driver, who was in­jured and is in hos­pi­tal, has been charged with eight cul­pa­ble homi­cide charges, as well as for drink­ing and driv­ing.

The ar­tic­u­lated truck he was driv­ing was found to be road­wor­thy, the KZN Depart­ment of Trans­port said.

The truck, which was be­ing used as a peo­ple mover and was car­ry­ing more than 70 pas­sen­gers, over­turned near Nquthu, af­ter the driver failed to ne­go­ti­ate a bend on a well-main­tained road.

“It is al­leged that the driver tried to run away, but was ap­pre­hended by mem­bers of the com­mu­nity,” a depart­ment state­ment said.

The KZN Health MEC, Dr Si­bongiseni Dhlomo, said that more lives might have been lost were it not for the ded­i­ca­tion of the Charles John­son Hos­pi­tal staff, who dropped ev­ery­thing they were do­ing to at­tend to the ac­ci­dent ca­su­al­ties.

More than 60 pa­tients were taken to the hos­pi­tal and eight were trans­ferred to Madadeni Hos­pi­tal for ad­vanced care, he said.

“I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate what the man­age­ment did in sum­mon­ing all seven doc­tors based in and around the hos­pi­tal as well as nurses from the wards, the ma­ter­nity sec­tion and those who were at the nurses’ home to come and as­sist,” he said.

“Within a very short time, the doc­tors and nurses, as well as the Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices Ad­vanced Life Sup­port per­son­nel, had all con­verged at the ca­su­alty sec­tion with their re­sus­ci­ta­tion trol­leys fully equipped and started at­tend­ing to the in­jured,” he said.

Mean­while, the MEC for Trans­port, Com­mu­nity Safety and Li­ai­son, Mx­olisi Kaunda, despatched se­nior of­fi­cials, led by the act­ing head of the depart­ment, Glen Xaba, to visit the sur­vivors and the crash scene yes­ter­day.

Other of­fi­cials met the fam­i­lies of the dead vic­tims to help them with the funeral plans.

Five peo­ple were also killed and four in­jured near the Pav­il­ion shop­ping cen­tre on Sun­day, with the MEC say­ing that it was un­for­tu­nate that in one day 13 peo­ple were killed in avoid­able road crashes.

He said that as the fes­tive sea­son ap­proached, depart­ment of­fi­cials would con­duct law en­force­ment op­er­a­tions, fo­cus­ing on drink­ing and driv­ing, road wor­thi­ness, un­li­censed driv­ing and speed­ing.

PIC­TURES: MBUYISELO NDLOVU

The KZN Trans­port act­ing head of depart­ment Glen Xaba, cen­tre, along with the Charles John­son Hos­pi­tal chief ex­ec­u­tive Mar­garet Khany­ile, vis­ited the in­jured vic­tims yes­ter­day.

Glen Xaba, KZN Trans­port act­ing head, and the depart­ment’s spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, left, view the wreck­age of the ve­hi­cles in­volved in the ac­ci­dent that claimed the lives of eight peo­ple and in­jured scores of other pas­sen­gers.

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