Chaos after fatal smash on N4 highway
Tshwane - The N4 highway was blocked for about six hours on Monday following an accident in which a 28-year-old man was killed and three people were injured in a multiple vehicle accident near Donkerhoek Toll Plaza.
The highway was blocked from 8.30am to 2.30pm causing massive traffic chaos as cars backed up for kilometres along the highway.
Cornelius Schwarts, who was also involved in the accident, said that while they were travelling east towards Mpumalanga, their bakkie was hit from behind by an Audi A4.
“We were travelling at around 80km/h in the slow lane when we heard a bang from behind. I just saw something going through the bushes, then heard another loud bang,” said Schwarts. He said they stopped to assess the damage and went to investigate what had caused the accident. Speaking to the Pretoria News, a traumatised Schwarts said he and his brother-in-law were travelling to Nelspruit to deliver some car parts when the accident happened.
He said that after hitting them, the Audi A4 went out of control and veered over the road median and into the path of oncoming traffic in the opposite lane where it collided with two traffic police cars, injuring three occupants.
Schwarts said that when they got closer to the vehicles they found one of the occupants lying on the ground. “Fortunately, emergency services arrived quickly,” he said.
When the Pretoria News arrived on the scene, the driver of the Audi A4 was still trapped in the vehicle while emergency officials waited for assistance to retrieve his body.
The vehicle he was travelling in was severely damaged at the front while the two traffic vehicles were moderately damaged.
ER24 spokesman Russel Meiring said that when the paramedics and metro police arrived, both sides of the highway had been blocked as a result of the accident.
He said a male driver was found inside his car. “He was declared dead on the scene.”
Meiring said the occupants of the police cars and the bakkie suffered minor to moderate injuries.
“The patients were treated and then transported by ER24 and Tshwane metro police to hospitals.”
Road Traffic Management Corporation chief executive Makhosini Msibi has warned motorists to exercise caution when driving. “While the RTMC was working hard together with other authorities to promote safety on roads, we are concerned that the resources we rely on to ensure safety and security on the roads are being diminished by the careless behaviour of some motorists,” Msibi said.
His warning followed the death of a number of police officers in road accidents lately.
In Gauteng a female traffic police officer was killed on Friday on the R80 road in Pretoria during “Operation ke Molao”.
Officer Thuli Shabangu was knocked down by a taxi while flagging it down. The taxi driver was arrested and charged with culpable homicide.
In Tzaneen in Limpopo, a police officer was killed in a hit-and-run incident recently. The driver allegedly failed to stop after the incident and sped away. The motorist later handed himself over to police.
In Cape Town, a traffic officer was killed when a taxi driver lost control of his minibus and collided head-on with the officer’s vehicle.