Durban - January Mabiyisi, the truck driver involved in last week’s horror crash on the N2 that claimed the lives of a father, his son and a friend, walked out of the Durban Magistrate’s Court teary-eyed on Friday after being released on bail.
In a brief court appearance, Mabiyisi, 37, of Monyakeng in the Free State, stood anxiously in the dock.
Johan Rossouw, the logistics manager for Free State company JK Dienste, which owns the truck, was there to give him moral support and sat behind him in the public area.
Mabiyisi, represented by advocate Sonja Franke of Jacques Botha and Associates, requested a Sotho-speaking interpreter, because he did not understand Zulu or English.
He is facing three charges of culpable homicide after last Tuesday’s accident, which killed 11-year-old friends Ethan Prinsloo and Kelvin Killian, and Kelvin’s 43-year-old father, Ockert Killian – all from Ballito.
The three, who were returning from a family holiday in the Drakensberg, were killed after Mabiyisi’s 18-wheeler truck ploughed into their car near the uMngeni Road off-ramp.
The truck hit 16 other cars, before dragging Killian’s car and one other over the embankment.
Six other people were injured in the multiple vehicle pile-up. Mabiyisi was not hurt in the crash.
The truck driver has two children and also financially supports his mother and sister, the court heard.
Magistrate Anita Govender granted bail, saying Mabiyisi had no previous convictions or trials pending.
His residential address had been confirmed, and the State did not oppose bail.
It is alleged that the truck developed a mechanical problem while coming down the N2, causing Mabiyisi to lose control and collide with several vehicles.
After granting bail of R1 000, Govender postponed the case to September 28.
Franke welcomed the decision to grant bail. - The Mercury