Condolence to families after horror N1 head-on collision
CONDOLENCES have poured in from all over the country following the horrific accident on the N1 near Hammanskraal on Saturday afternoon in which 16 people died, including six children under the age of 10.
President Jacob Zuma also expressed his heartfelt condolences during the ANC’s birthday bash at Orlando Stadium yesterday, saying the country’s hearts went out to the affected families.
The collision occurred on the N1 South, between Murrayhill and Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, when a bakkie and a taxi collided. Only two passengers from the taxi survived the accident. One was still in a critical condition and the other had moderate injuries. Both were taken to hospitals in the area, said Athlenda Mathe of the Netcare 911.
It appeared that the driver of an Isuzu LDV bakkie, which had been travelling northbound, lost control and veered over the centre median into oncoming traffic. The bakkie then collided with a fully loaded Toyota minibus taxi.
Liam Clarke, commercial manager for Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire, stated that initial reports suggested the minibus was travelling south to Joburg, and the Isuzu in the opposite direction. “It seems that the driver of the Isuzu lost control and crossed the median into the oncoming traffic,” said Clarke.
Paramedics found that 13 of the taxi’s passengers, as well as both drivers, had already died of their injuries and were trapped in the mangled vehicles.
An off-duty doctor had begun resuscitation attempts on one patient, but the patient was later declared dead on the scene. Fifteen of the fatalities were from the minibus and one from the bakkie.
The City of Tshwane fire department used the “jaws of life” to cut the bodies from the vehicles.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura called on motorists to exercise extra care on the roads as the province experienced rainy weather.
“I would like to extend heartfelt condolences to the families of those who passed on during the tragic accidents on our roads and a speedy recovery to those who were injured,” Makhura said.
Road Accident Fund (RAF) chief executive Dr Eugene Watson also sent his condolences.
“Particularly tragic was the needless death of six children in the accident. That this has occurred on the eve of the 2017 school year is most devastating.
“We will do everything to ensure we ease the emotional and financial burden for the survivors and families during this difficult time. Our Pretoria regional office will work alongside the police and hospitals to verify the identities of the deceased in order to begin providing the necessary support,” said Watson.
RAF personnel would meet with family members as soon as possible in order to arrange funeral support for those who qualified and met the required criteria.
Consultations would continue with the grieving families after the funerals to originate claims for loss of support for any surviving dependants, and qualifying heads of damages for the injured as stipulated in the RAF Act.
AFTERMATH: 16 people died in a horrific accident on the N1 near Hammanskraal on Saturday when a taxi and a bakkie collided head-on.