’Hand yourself in’: KZN MEC warns truck driver involved in deadly crash
Durban - TRANSPORT MEC Bheki Ntuli has warned the truck driver who fled a crash scene that claimed more than 10 lives in September, that he or she must come forward before his department comes for them.
Thirteen people were killed in a horrific four-vehicle crash on the R33 near Wartburg in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands in September.
Five people were also injured when a tanker, minibus taxi and bakkie collided on the highway.
The crash was as a result of a truck that failed to stop at a stop sign. The driver had fled the scene. According to Ntuli, the driver has not been found and the company the truck belonged to was still unknown.
“It’s very unfortunate that we have not been able to find the truck itself and the driver. “As you know, some people get away with crimes they commit. However, we are not going to relax just because we don’t know at this stage. “We are still relying on the dashcam footage of the truck that was carrying diesel. We have retrieved the information. It’s not going to be quick but we are still investigating.”
Ntuli spoke to the media after he addressed the South African National Taxi Council in Durban ahead of the festive season.
At present, road fatalities in the province stand at 1492 from 1363 crashes from January until November.
Ntuli said while this was a drop from last year’s 2032 fatalities from 1787 crashes, during the same period, he was still concerned. In 2018 during this same period, 2197 people died in 1904 crashes.
“The issue of the lifted restrictions on alcohol sales was worrying for the department as we head into the festive season. Current fatalities would not be this figure if we still had restrictions. However, these are businesses that want to partake in the economy of the country and they want to be able to operate. We are still in discussions to see how we manage the festive season because we believe that’s when the challenges will come,” said Ntuli.
He also acknowledged that Fields Hill near Pinetown was problematic when it came to trucks with heavy loads.
“This road is troublesome and we want to sign a memorandum of understanding with the eThekwini Municipality. With the budget cuts that have affected us, we have redirected some funds.
“We are very grateful that the mayor has agreed that we sign the memorandum so that from their infrastructure portion they will be to see if they can assist us with this road while we are working on our budget,” said Ntuli.