Durban - Three people died and five were injured in a head-on collision the Watson Highway in oThongathi on Thursday night.
Tow truck operators at the scene said it appeared that one of the vehicles crossed the centre median and collided head-on with the other.
Ismail Mitha of Big Show Towing said when he arrived at the scene an Opel Kadett was on fire. The wreckage of the car and bakkie were entangled.
“The fire was spreading quickly to the bakkie, so I hitched a tow line and pulled it away from the car,” he said. “A man in the Kadett had died on impact. The woman was alive, trapped in the back seat. We tried putting out the fire with three extinguishers but we failed.”
Netcare 911 spokesman, Chris Botha, said the vehicle had burst into flames on impact, with two people trapped in the wreckage. They died of their extensive injuries.
Botha said the 29-year-old driver of the bakkie went into cardiac arrest. He said paramedics worked for 30 minutes to try to resuscitate him.
“Despite all their efforts the man was declared dead, bringing the death toll to three. The injured were stabilised and transported to hospital,” Botha said.
Mitha said two passengers in the front of the bakkie were injured. Another was trapped in the canopy.
“We deal with accidents on a daily basis, but this has been the worst I have seen in my nine years as a tow truck operator. It’s not what we get paid to see,” Mitha said.