Durban – A multi-disciplinary team of experts has established to investigate a horror crash in the KZN Midlands that claimed the lives of 13 people including an unborn child.
This, as police hunt down the driver of a truck who allegedly failed to stop at the intersection off the R33 towards Greytown Road and the R614 towards Wartburg Road – who fled the scene of deadly crash.
On Tuesday, just hours after the crash, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli visited the scene where he mourned the loss of life.
Five other motorists were seriously injured during the crash.
The accident involved four vehicles, a Combination truck, Tipper truck, Isuzu bakkie and a Minibus taxi.
It is alleged that the driver of a Tipper truck failed to stop at the stop sign resulting to the collision.
He then fled the scene and is being sought by police.
The majority of the passengers were travelling in a minibus taxi from eMpolweni to Pietermaritzburg.
According to authorities, the deceased are 10 females, including a foetus, and two males.
A multi-disciplinary team of experts has now been set-up to investigate the cause of the crash.
The KZN Transport Department said the investigation will entail assessing the condition of all vehicles involved, verifying documentation of all drivers involved, assessing the road and weather condition at the time of the accident.
The team will also use the wreckage as part of their investigations and statements have been obtained from some of the eye witnesses.
Commenting after inspecting the accident scene, a visibly shocked Ntuli, described the accident as a blatant disregard of traffic laws, saying the driver who fled the scene must face the music.
“When people are going to work and schools in the morning, they hope to arrive at their destination safely and on time. It is unacceptable that through the negligence of one person, 13 people perished in such a tragic way. We have directed the police to work around the clock in finding the other driver who fled the scene of the accident or he must hand himself over to the police. The forensic team has started with the investigation and we hope that it will be concluded soon. As the provincial government with municipalities, we send our deepest condolences to the affected families and we commit to working with them during this difficult period,” said Ntuli.
Ntuli also called on motorists to be extra cautious on the road, saying all laws and regulations are always there to be respected and adhered to.
As part of the 2020 October Transport Month programme, the province will be intensifying law enforcement operations and promoting behavioral change on the road through road safety awareness campaigns.