Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport has ordered a full scale investigation into a multi-vehicle crash on the M41 in Durban that left at least 16 people injured on Monday.
The Department said in a statement Monday, that according to reports, a runaway tipper truck collided with more than 40 vehicles during the morning traffic.
“A total of 49 vehicles were involved,” it said.
The Department said the tipper truck was suspected to have experienced brake failure which caused major devastation and brought traffic to a standstill.
“Part of the investigation will look at allegations of a total failure of the truck braking system, condition of the driver, and various other defects,” it said.
According to the Department, if it is found that the truck was unroadworthy, the government could also advocate for charges to be laid against the truck owner.
“The investigating team is already taking statements from the eyewitnesses and will reconstruct the scene. The truck will be taken for forensic inspection.” said the department..
MEC for Transport, Community Safety, and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka, expressed concerns at the alarming rate of truck accidents on KZN roads.
Hlomuka said this mass accident was unnecessary and could have been avoided.
“We have ordered an investigation so that those responsible could be held accountable. As a government, we have a targeted programme focusing on trucks.
The MEC said there was a growing challenge with the behaviour of tipper truck drivers in areas such as N2 Phongolo and N2 Richards Bay.
“We will continue engaging with the freight and logistics sector to adhere to the laws. We also wish a speedy recovery to all those affected by this accident, including those who suffered trauma and physical injuries, " said Hlomuka.
The government appealed to motorists to be extra vigilant on the road.
Meanwhile, IOL reported that police had launched a manhunt for the driver of a truck.
According to the report the truck driver fled the scene of the accident.