Video footage shows the moments before a runaway truck hurtles across a major intersection, through a red traffic light and ploughs into four taxis and a car, killing 22 passengers.
A DRIVER with a camera on the dashboard of his vehicle captured a fatal collision in which 22 people died in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, on Thursday evening.
The footage shows the moments before a runaway truck hurtles down Fields Hill (M13), across a major intersection, through a red traffic light and wipes out four fully laden taxis and the occupants of a car.
Jan van Zyl, who was behind the wheel of the camera-equipped vehicle, narrowly escaped being involved in the horror crash.
Paramedics on the scene said that 10 people sustained critical injuries, eight sustained moderate injuries and 14 sustained minor to moderate injuries.
The 23-year-old truck driver has been arrested and charged with culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.
Local DA councillor Rick Crouch said truck companies allowed their drivers to use Fields Hill to bypass the toll booth on the N3. According to the LookLocal Pinetown website, Crouch and fellow ward councillors have been fighting to have the heavy vehicles banned from Fields Hill.
Acting South African President Jeff Radebe was shocked and saddened by the accident.
â€œThe loss of such a high number of people, some of them breadwinners, is painful and has affected so many households negatively. We urge road users, especially drivers, to exercise caution on the roads, especially when carrying passengers,” said Radebe, who has briefed President Jacob Zuma, who is currently attending the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Russia.
â€œWe extend our deepest condolences to the families and relatives of the deceased and wish those in hospital a speedy recovery,” Radebe added.
This was the third collision to have claimed many lives in just a few days, said presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj.
Last weekend, another fatal crash claimed the lives of 10 people, including seven young women returning from the annual Reed Dance in Nongoma. Seven more people died in another fatal crash on the N2 between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
Video: Warning – graphic content