Cape Town - The driver who allegedly killed a homeless man when he crashed his car through the storefront of a luxury car dealership in Cape Town will be charged with culpable homicide later this week.
According to witnesses, the 22-year-old driver was spotted “driving drunk” at high speed early on Tuesday moments before crashing into Viglietti Motors - a Ferrari and Maserati dealership in Roeland Street.
When police arrived they found that a homeless man, sleeping in front of the dealership, had been killed in the crash.
The driver was taken to hospital where his blood was tested. He was then detained.
Police spokesman Captain van Wyk said on Tuesday that the man would remain in custody for 48 hours before appearing at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.
The dead man had not yet been identified at the time of going to print. Homeless people in the area said he was likely “one of the older ones”.
The area in front of the dealership is a common spot for homeless people to take shelter.
Ryan Florence, who had planned to take up a spot there on Monday night, said he had arrived late and was forced to take shelter at the Engen Service Station opposite the car dealership.
He said he had a perfect view of the crash when a Mazda 323 raced through the intersection of Roeland and De Villiers streets before smashing through the storefront of Viglietti Motors.
An informal car guard said the driver had been leaning out of the window taunting pedestrians. An hour earlier he had seen the driver and his passenger emerge from The Shack, a nearby bar.
Florence said he had been worried because he had seen about five people sleeping outside the dealership when the vehicle barrelled through the intersection. But it seemed that others sleeping there had escaped unscathed.
“They were very lucky… I was lucky that I wasn’t sleeping there. The driver’s face was bleeding all over and his friend had a piece of glass “sticking out right there”, he said”, motioning to the front of his head. He said it was only when police and paramedics arrived that he saw the body of the man being carried away.
Van Wyk said paramedics had declared the man dead at the scene.
On Tuesday staff were clearing up the broken glass inside the dealership and preparing to install new windows. It did not appear that any of the Maserati and Ferrari cars had been damaged in the crash.