Durban - A total of 39 people were injured in five separate vehicle crashes in the greater Durban area on Wednesday.
These included one on the Field’s Hill and Richmond Road intersection in Pinetown, near where a truck ploughed into four fully laden taxis and two other vehicles in September last year, killing 24 people.
Wednesday’s crash also involved a truck, believed to be a 10-tonner, and a taxi from Dassenhoek.
Pinetown fire station division commander, Roger Jones, said the truck carrying cartons of milk and the taxi collided at about 4.30pm.
The truck was slightly damaged.
The taxi was extensively damaged
It is not clear in which direction the vehicles were travelling, or the cause of the crash.
According to Netcare 911’s Chris Botha, 16 people were injured in the incident.
Botha said some of the injured were still trapped in the twisted frame of the taxi when paramedics arrived. Jaws of Life equipment had to be used to extricate the driver.
Garrith Jamieson of Rescue Care, which also responded, said that passengers who managed to climb out of the wrecked taxi had gathered on the side of the road.
The road was closed for about two hours as paramedics attended to the injured.
Earlier on Wednesday, a man in his 20s was critically injured when his vehicle collided with a bakkie on the M7 near Field’s Hill, according to ER24.
He sustained multiple suspected fractures and was taken to RK Khan Hospital along with his two passengers who sustained minor injuries.
The driver of the bakkie was not injured.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said police were investigating a case of reckless and negligent driving, as well as the circumstances surrounding the crash.
ER24 paramedics had to weave through the morning rush-hour traffic to assist six people injured in a four-vehicle pile-up in the middle lane of the M13 near Field’s Hill.
On Old Main Road in Botha’s Hill, a man in his 30s was hit by a car and found lying on the road by ER24 paramedics.
Spokesman Russel Meiring said the man had suffered critical injuries to his legs and back.
Metro police closed two lanes of the road to allow paramedics a safe area to work, Meiring said.
The driver of the car was not injured.
In uMbilo, 13 people were injured in a crash involving a taxi and a bakkie.