Call for traffic calming measures after crash kills 10
DURBAN - RESIDENTS and road users have called for more traffic-calming measures following the death of 10 people in a crash in the Vryheid area, near Lakeside, northern KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) had sent a team of crash investigators to the scene.
RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said a family of seven was travelling in a Mazda 3 on the R34 and a Toyota LDV with six occupants was travelling on the R69 towards Vryheid.
“There is a compulsory stop on the R34 where the Mazda was supposed to have stopped but failed to stop and collided with the Toyota LDV in its lane, the Toyota had right of way,” said Zwane.
“All seven occupants from the Mazda were killed, including two young children aged 3 and 6 and an 11-year-old disabled child. Three occupants from the Toyota were killed and three occupants who were seated in the back of the Toyota were seriously injured.”
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said Vryheid police were investigating a case of culpable homicide.
“A total of seven people died at the scene. Another four people were taken to hospital after they sustained serious injuries and three later died in hospital, said Gwala.
“The matter is still under investigation.”
As a result, residents and road users have called on the AbaQulusi Local Municipality to do something about the intersection where many lives have been lost. Some called for traffic lights to be installed at the intersection while others said additional speed humps, cameras and heavy punishment was a must.
They also complained that signage and road markings were in a poor state. There were also potholes, invisible road markings, damaged traffic lights and non-functional street-lights in the town of Vryheid.
Municipal manager Bonga Ntanzi said they noted with great concern the cries from the community but it must be noted that the R34 fell within the jurisdiction of the KZN Department of Transport, therefore the municipality will only be able to give a detailed response after the mayor Mncedisi Maphisa has met with MEC Peggy Nkonyeni on Thursday and the concerns raised would form part of their discussion.
Nkonyeni said: “It is heartbreaking that this gruesome accident comes after the long Easter weekend where the province recorded 54 fatalities. It was disturbing to learn that one of the vehicles involved in the accident in Vryheid was overloaded and it is alleged that the driver failed to stop at a stop street, which could be the cause of this ghastly accident that resulted in the death of 10 people. Through flouting the basic rules of the road, the driver displayed gross recklessness and total disregard for the rule of law as well as other road users.”
Today, Nkonyeni is expected to visit the families of the victims in Nongoma, northern KZN.
Six months ago, there was a horrific crash on the R34 between Melmoth and Ulundi, where 16 people, including a baby were killed.
A minibus taxi and truck had crashed, resulting in the taxi catching fire, leaving three of the victims burnt beyond recognition and DNA testing had to be conducted to identify the deceased.