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A grandmother was mourning the loss of her daughter and three grandsons yesterday, after they died in a car crash on the R27 outside Langebaan late on Saturday night.
Melicia Wilsnach, her fiancé Moegamat Miller, and their sons, Damian ,16, Callum, seven, and Marcus, one, were travelling from Cape Town with two family friends when the car collided with a truck and trailer.
All seven occupants of the car died. The names of the family friends – – a child and man – have not yet been released. The driver of the truck was not hurt.
The group had been returning home to St Helena Bay, said Jasintha Huyshamen, Wilsnach’s mother.
“The night the accident happened I had a bad feeling, I couldn’t sleep. Then my neighbour came to me the next morning to say she had some bad news…” she said. “To lose a whole family just like that, it’s devastating.”
It was Callum’s seventh birthday on Saturday.
The truck, pulling two trailers, was travelling south on the R27 and was turning right towards the Engen 1-Stop at Langebaan Junction.
The Toyota Corolla collided with a wheel axle on the first trailer and became lodged underneath, said Rob Nel of SA Paramedics Services.
Six people were dead when paramedics arrived. They helped to remove a boy, who was alive, from the wreck.
“The boy was taken to the Vredenburg Provincial Hospital where he died shortly after being admitted.”
Keri Davids, spokeswoman for provincial Emergency Medical Services (EMS), said paramedics hadworked for almost two hours to remove the bodies. “The vehicle was very badly mangled and the Jaws of Life had to be used.”
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said the crash was being investigated.
Natie Lotz, the manager of the Langebaan Junction Engen 1-Stop, said the cause of the accident was a mystery to him.
“It’s not a particularly dangerous stretch of road or turnover,” he said. “In the six years that I’ve been here, I’ve only heard of two accidents.”