Cape Town - The infamous section of the N1 near Laingsburg, known as the “Road of Death”, claimed six more lives in two head-on collisions early on Friday morning.
Four people died when a Toyota Hilux bakkie and a minibus taxi collided and burst into flames at 3.40am on Friday, said Robert Daniels, principal communications officer for Western Cape Emergency Medical Services.
The driver of the Hilux and his two passengers died, as did the taxi driver. The taxi was not carrying passengers.
The bodies of the dead were burnt beyond recognition, Daniels said.
The drivers of two trucks died at 5am, when their vehicles were also involved in a head-on collision, he said. The trucks caught fire and, in this incident too, the bodies of the men were burnt beyond recognition.
The fire continued to rage deep into the morning because one of the trucks was laden with crates full of paper. It damaged phone lines, affecting landline and cellphone reception in the area. The N1 had to be closed.
l At about 6pm on Thursday, two men aged 38 and 25 died in a crash on the Old Faure Road, near Khayelitsha, when their small bakkie was involved in a head-on collision with a car. The driver of the car was seriously injured.
Paramedics responded to help two colleagues from fire services when the firemen’s water tanker overturned on Klipheuwel Road later on Thursday morning. Two firefighters were taken to the Durbanville Mediclinic. No other vehicles were involved.
* Meanwhile, unroadworthy taxis were going to be a priority target for traffic officers over the festive season, councillor JP Smith warned.
Owners and drivers of unroadworthy taxis had better be sure they did not pick up passengers, said Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security.