Concrete mixer truck crash driver died of ‘heart attack’
THE driver of a concrete mixer truck that rolled off the side of the Değirmenlik-Girne mountain highway last Friday died of heart trouble, a post-mortem revealed.
The autopsy of Mustafa Karaca, 54, confirmed his cause of death as “heart disease, heart failure and a heart attack”, a police statement said. It was not stated if Mr Karaca’s heart attack occurred before or after the accident.
Police said the accident happened when Mr Karaca, a Lefkoşa resident, “lost control” of the vehicle due to “excessive speed and carelessness” at around 2.30pm.
The concrete mixer truck entered a dirt road that had been previously opened for roadworks.
After travelling forward for 150 metres, the vehicle then went off the side of the road and overturned.
Mr Karaca, who was trapped upside down in the driver’s cabin, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Firefighters, police and paramedics struggled for hours to free him. It was only after a crane was used to lift the vehicle that his body could be removed.
The accident was the latest in a series of crashes on the mountain road involving heavy goods vehicles.
Three people were injured when a lorry overturned in October. In June a lorry spilled its load when it turned onto its side after crashing into rocks at the side of the road.
One of the country’s deadliest road traffic accidents happened on the road in November 2016, when three people, including two school children, lost their lives and several others were injured when a lorry and school minibus were involved in a head-on collision.
Traffic Accidents Prevention Association head Mehmet Avcı said that the mountain road, which is the main route between the Girne and Lefkoşa regions for fully loaded HGVs, is not safe and that the standards of drivers and their vehicles are poor.