Durban – Pinetown residents have described how terrified they were when they saw a runaway truck heading for their homes.
After the incident on Monday, the 50-year-old truck driver was found dead at the scene.
It is believed that he fell or alighted from the truck before it crashed into vehicles, a boundary wall and a house.
The incident, in Stapleton Road, was captured on video which has gone viral on social media.
Metro police and SAPS were on the scene attending to an initial accident, when the truck started rolling.
Durban metro police spokesperson Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad said they were shocked and surprised as to how the second accident happened.
Sewpersad said the truck driver had initially stopped his vehicle at the accident scene, at the intersection of Stapleton and East Road.
However, the man is believed to have returned to the truck and then it began rolling forward.
“It is alleged that the truck began to roll and collided with the other vehicles. A few metres down the road, the driver of the truck was found. He had sustained injuries,” he said.
The truck veered off the road, smashed through the boundary wall of a house then hit into the corner of a second house, where it came to a stop.
“Eight vehicles were damaged in the collision, including the metro police vehicle and two vehicles which were in the yard of the house, and the house was damaged,” said Sewpersad.
Sizakele Makhanya, who owns the first house, said she had been watching the first accident on CCTV and saw the truck moving towards her house.
The mother of three said her husband was at the window and she thought they were both going to die.
“I told him let’s run, but he couldn’t see that there was danger coming and I thought we were going to be hit by this truck, both of us.”
The truck crashed into the boundary wall of Makhanya’s property before crashing into a house.
Natalie Chazvemba, whose father Mirek Fajer owns the second house, said the house now had cracks in two rooms.
“The truck ploughed into the corner and the cracks extend through two unoccupied bedrooms,” she said.
Chazvemba said her first thought was that the driver had died.
“My husband looked inside the truck and saw that there was no driver.”
KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli visited the two families on Tuesday.
Ntuli said while there had not yet been a thorough investigation into the cause of the second accident, but said the road needed attention.
“The investigation will tell us more as to the causes and after that we will decide what we can do to improve the situation,” said Ntuli.
“I want to convey my deepest condolences to the family of the person who has passed on,” he added.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said Pinetown SAPS was investigating a case of culpable homicide.