Truck crash fatality sparks protest

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ND bluff protest 1 (Read-Only) (24810866)

INLSA

The familiy of Basil Egelhof at a protest started by outraged community members, three days after his death.

The family of the latest victim of the truck congestion in south Durban hopes his death will ultimately save lives.

“Something needs to be done so that no one else will lose their daddy like I did,” said a tearful Kim Cordiglia, daughter of 63-year-old labour law consultant Basil Egelhof.

He died on Wednesday when his car was sandwiched between two trucks at a stop street in Bayhead. Egelhof was expected to be buried on Monday.

Irate

residents from four suburbs have joined forces to rid their communities of what they call the scourge of trucking, which they have blamed for numerous deaths over the years.

About 200 residents from Clairwood, Bluff, Wentworth and Merebank embarked on a protest march on Saturday, accusing truckers of being a “law unto themselves” and “out of control”.

ND basil etch (24810868)

Basil Egelhof

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They’ve called for stricter law enforcement for the high volumes of trucks operating in their areas near cargo terminals in the Bayhead area. Trucks congest the roads while waiting up to 12 hours to load at the container terminal.

Egelhof’s wife, children and grandchildren joined the protest in their grief.

Egelhof, who lived in Amanzimtoti, was at a stop street behind a truck when another truck rammed into his Ford Fiesta car, said a close friend Rene Griesel

.

”My dad used Bayhead Road almost daily and he moaned endlessly about it,” said Cordiglia, one of Egelhof’s three daughters.

“And for him to pass away like that…” , she added, her voice trailing off.

Cordiglia said she found out about the protest via an e-mail, which had a picture of her dad’s car after the crash, that had been circulating.

“It was like a sign and I knew we had to go.”

The march was difficult but therapeutic, she said.

“With trying to arrange a funeral and having to ask ourselves ‘why?, why?, why?’, and seeing people crying all around us, we needed to vent off somewhere,” she said.

The best thing that came out of the protest was knowing they were not alone.

“The sad part is that it could all have been prevented. I hope my dad’s passing can help change someone else’s life.”

Egelhof’s wife, Joan, was too emotional to speak to the media.

A case of culpable homicide has been opened at the Brighton Beach police station.

Protesters called for truck owners to take responsibility for the deaths, damage to the road and pollution caused by the trucking industry. They wanted speed humps, a crackdown on badly maintained roads, and for a dry port to be developed away from urban areas.

The memorandum was accepted by Petros Sibiya of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport.

“As a department we are not going to tolerate the blatant disregard of traffic and road signs. Once this document is dealt with by the MEC for transport, Willis Mchunu, we will have a positive result,” he said.

“The time for regulation is overdue,” said Bluff ward councillor Duncan Du Bois.

Nine people had been killed by big trucks in the Clairwood area alone in the past 10 years, he said, adding there were also more than 32 illegal trucking operations in Clairwood.

Ivor Aylward, chairman of the Bluff Ratepayers’ Association, said: “We’ve had horrific accidents on these roads. These truckers just do whatever they want. There’s no order, no law, no morals.”

Aylward called for restriction of trucks on the roads to certain times of the day. - Daily News


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