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Mossel Bay in grief after death of girls

Mossel Bay is reeling after an alleged drunk driver ploughed into a car in Hartenbos while fleeing from police, killing two young girls and injuring two others.

Friedel Roller, 39, crashed into Jaco van Wyk’s car at high speed at the corner of Kaap de Goede Hoop and Louis Fourie streets in Hartenbos two weeks ago. He was fleeing from police after being pulled over for reckless driving on February 10.

An van Zyl, left, and Anl van der Merwe tie teddy bears, shells and messages of condolence to lamp post near to where Dante Hageman, 10, and Sonja van Wyk, 11 were killed when an alleged drunk driver crashed into their vehicle. Photo: Jeffrey Abrahams. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Van Wyk’s daughter Sonja, 11, and her friend Dante Hageman, 10, who both attended Hartenbos Primary School, were killed. The girls’ funerals were held at the weekend. Sonja was in Grade 5 and Dante in Grade 4.

Monday night, Mossel Bay residents and Van Wyk family friends paid tribute to the girls by adorning the site of the crash with teddy bears, flowers, messages of condolence and sea shells.

Anè Van Zyl packed sea shells on the ground and said she felt for the mothers who had lost their children.

Anèl Van der Merwe, another resident, said she did not know how any mother would feel to lose a child.

“I went to the funeral of Sonja on Saturday and her little sister read a letter to the congregation. Everyone in church was so heartsore because she doesn’t understand that her sister will never come back.”

“Her father, who is still in hospital, was very seriously injured. He was in a wheelchair at the funeral and couldn’t move at all.”

Southern Cape police spokesman Captain Malcolm Pojie said Roller was initially charged with two counts of culpable homicide. This was later changed to murder.

On Tuesday Pojie said Roller would also face a charge of attempting to escape from the Mossel Bay provincial hospital. He was to appear in the Mossel Bay Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

A day after Roller crashed into Van Wyk’s car, an alleged drunk driver, who also attempted to flee the scene, ploughed into 12 youngsters in George. Vuyani Sondoso, 35, appeared in the Thembalethu Magistrate’s Court facing charges of negligent and reckless driving and drunk driving last week The accused was granted R5 000 bail on the two charges, but remains in custody as he had not been able to provide payment.

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