‘Crash driver’, 17, in court
AFTER a month in hospital, the unlicensed matric pupil who allegedly crashed his parents’ vehicle into municipal workers in Phoenix in August has finally appeared in court.
The 17-year-old son of a Verulam metro police officer appeared in the Phoenix Magistrate’s Court on charges of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving. He was released into his parents’ custody until his next court appearance.
It is alleged that on August 28, while the teen was driving his parents’ VW Polo, he failed to negotiate a bend and ploughed into four municipal workers doing routine maintenance along Tatford Road in Sunford.
At the time he alleged he had suffered a black-out and lost control of the vehicle.
Velenkosini Mpangose, 38, was killed while Kevin Roopnarain, 30, lost both legs, although one was later re-attached during surgery. He is in a stable condition at Umhlanga Hospital.
Two others – Thulani Chala, 35 and Aldane Scheepers, 30 – have been discharged.
For the Roopnarains – Kevin, his wife Roslyn and two children aged 2 and 9 – the past month had been daunting, said a relative.
“We are praying that justice will prevail so that this does not happen to another family,” he said, requesting anonymity.
The relative said this had been the longest month of their lives.
“At one stage we thought we were going to lose Kevin forever, but through prayer and rallying together Kevin’s condition remains stable.”
While Roopnarain is in a stable condition the trauma from the incident was taking a toll on him, the relative said.
“When he closes his eyes or tries to sleep he can still hear the tyres of the vehicle screeching.
“The memory of trying to escape the crash haunts him daily, but it’s the support from his family and staff at the hospital which has helped him pull through the ordeal.”