Four dead after car transporting cigarettes and dagga crashes on N2
FOUR people, including a Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) officer, were killed after a vehicle transporting dagga and cigarettes with a street value of R500 000 crashed into another vehicle on the N2 near Mandeni yesterday.
The sale of dagga and cigarettes is illegal according to South African law and under the regulations of the Disaster Management Act of the national lockdown, respectively.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said Newark police were investigating a case of culpable homicide after two vehicles were involved in a crash on the N2 at Newark, south of the Tugela bridge, at 8.30am yesterday.
“Four people died at the scene. The other vehicle that was found carrying dagga and cigarettes caught fire. The estimated street value of the dagga and cigarettes is R500 000,” said Gwala.
On Twitter, a tweep posted a photograph of the crash while the scene was still active and said: “Just lost a friend in a car accident on the N2.”
In a separate post the tweep said: “Those guys were transporting weed and speeding in the rain before the collision” and added that “an innocent life has been cut short by criminals”.
Another tweep said the stretch of road where the crash took place was notorious for fatalities when it rained.
IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Paul Herbst said paramedics responded to a high-impact crash on the N2 near Mandeni where they found an Audi engulfed in flames with two people trapped inside. A second vehicle also had trapped occupants.
“The passenger of the second vehicle was severely trapped and was declared dead.
“The driver of the same vehicle sustained life-threatening injuries and advanced life support paramedics from IPSS and Lenmed Ethekwini Heart Hospital worked to stabilise the man, believed to be an off-duty RTI officer,” said Herbst.
He said the patient went into cardiac arrest and was declared dead by paramedics.
Traffic was severely affected and the road had to be closed.
Institute for Security Studies researcher Richard Chelin said the fact the Audi was carrying illicit cigarettes as well as dagga could indicate the work of a broader criminal network. A few days ago police arrested a person near the Mandeni toll plaza who was transporting 140 cartons of cigarettes.