Durban - For Serggiou Naidoo, driving on – after seeing the bodies of two children and several others trapped in a burning car - was not an option.
Naidoo was recalling the night he witnessed the aftermath of a horror crash near Dundee, which claimed the lives of six people and injured four others. Their identities have not yet been revealed.
The Department of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison said that a VW Touran and a Toyota Corrolla collided on N11 before the Elandslaagte turn-off last week.
The road was closed for several hours.
The six dead were occupants of the Toyota Corolla while the four injured patients were from the VW Touran.
Emergency rescue personnel were greeted by a bloody scene, and body bags were lined up at the side of the road.
Naidoo, 22, who lives in Johannesburg, was driving to Vryheid via Ladysmith to visit his father.
“I knew that if I kept driving, after seeing the horrible accident, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life.
“A few sleepless nights now are a small price to pay,” he said.
“I could see the Toyota, but only from the side. As I got closer, I saw the bodies of two kids lying on the road; that’s when I realised what had happened.”
He did not know at the time which vehicle they had been in.
He pulled over and carried them to the side of the road.
“I noticed that another man had stopped as well. He was a doctor. He had some basic supplies with him. He gave me a pair of gloves and we went to the Toyota.”
That car, he said, had caught alight and he knew that he had to get the people who were trapped out quickly.
“All the people in the car were unconscious, so we had to work fast.”
He and the doctor managed to flag down a truck to use its fire extinguisher.
Naidoo, who has no medical training, said that the safety belt had become tangled and he could not get it open.
“I went to my car to get my Stanley knife. I didn’t want to waste any time, just in case the car exploded.”
Naidoo said they managed to get the driver and passengers out. They died later.
After that they went to help the occupants of the other vehicle.
The Road Traffic Inspectorate’s spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu said the exact circumstances would be made known after a thorough investigation.
The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu said: “We are very disturbed by the loss of so many lives. Human error continues to be a big factor in accidents occurring in the province.
“Law enforcement will play its part, but there must be radical mindset and attitude change if we are to win the battle against the road carnage.”