Truck driver behind wheel in KZN crash that claimed 21 lives hands himself over to police

Nineteen children were killed in a horror crash on the N2 in northern KZN. Picture: Twitter

Nineteen children were killed in a horror crash on the N2 in northern KZN. Picture: Twitter

Published Sep 18, 2022


Durban — The Department of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison reported that the truck driver involved in the N2 Pongola crash that claimed 21 lives was arrested.

The truck crashed head-on with a Toyota Hilux bakkie that was transporting pupils from local schools.

The department said that the driver handed himself over to the police on Saturday after a call by MEC Sipho Hlomuka.

The department said the police had launched a manhunt for the driver after he fled the scene after the crash on Friday.

It said the driver was expected to appear in the Pongola Magistrate’s Court on Monday, September 19.

“His arrest is important in assisting the families to deal with the devastation of losing their relatives. We commend the police who have had to activate all systems to make sure that the driver was pressured to surrender himself. We will be there to support the people of Pongola and the families during his court appearance on Monday,” said Hlomuka.

Prior to the driver handing himself in, Hlomuka had called on the community to help the police in apprehending the truck driver.

Police had indicated that they had launched a manhunt after the truck driver fled the scene in the Godlwayo area on the N2.

The department said that in the footage of the accident that is circulating, the truck is seen speeding excessively, overtaking on a double barrier line and clearly violating all possible traffic regulations.

The truck was travelling from Piet Retief to Pongola and police have opened a case of culpable homicide and negligent driving.

Over the weekend, the death toll rose to 21 from an initial 16. The dead are 19 pupils and two adults, including the bakkie driver.

Hlomuka said this about the driver: “He must just surrender himself to the police. It is a matter of hours before he is arrested to face the consequences of his actions. It is clear that the truck driver violated all the laws in the book.

“This is the kind of behaviour that is causing fatal crashes and it is unacceptable. The driver must face the music and we will be monitoring developments in this case. There is no excuse for such driver behaviour. It is painful that the death toll has now increased to 21.

“Once again, we wish to send our deepest condolences to all affected families, other fellow learners, teachers and members of the school governing bodies.”

Hlomuka also called for calm after a truck was torched and vehicles stoned by angry residents on the N2 near Pongola on Friday night.

Daily News