Firefighers attend to the burning vehicles after a deadly crash on the M4, Durban-bound, near Riverside Road on Monday afternoon. The road was closed for three hours, leading to major congestion north of the city. Picture: Chris Botha

Durban - A motorbike rider died and four people sustained injuries in a multiple vehicle collision on the M4 Durban-bound in Durban North yesterday afternoon.

Two cars exploded in flames in the accident – at about 12.30pm, near Riverside Road – at a point where the road narrows from two lanes to one because of roadworks.

The accident resulted in the road being closed for three hours, while the blazes were doused, the road cleared of gutted cars and paramedics attended to the injured.

Metro police spokesman Eugene Msomi said initial investigations indicated that speeding could have been a factor. He said motorists had to find alternative routes owing to the traffic jam and traffic in the north of the city was backed up.

“One of the cars or the bike were possibly speeding… The impact was just too much.

“There is construction on that road and if you speed you are likely to veer off and crash into oncoming traffic. The road narrows due to the construction,” he said.

Garrith Jamieson of Rescue Care said paramedics arrived “to find the freeway closed in both directions”.

“Two of the vehicles and the bike had exploded and were in flames,” he said.

“Paramedics assessed the injured, while Durban Fire Department extinguished the flames.”

The bike was stuck underneath one of the vehicles, he said. The biker had died by the time paramedics arrived. The four injured people were stabilised before being taken to hospital.

Craig Adendorff of Sun Cell Watch, a Durban North crime monitoring service, was one of the first to arrive at the scene. He said it seemed like the biker had not noticed that the road narrowed and appeared to have ridden straight into the vehicles.

Outgoing Durban North councillor, Dean Macpherson, said the accident happened just after he got on to the M4 from Riverside Road.

“At first I thought it was a bush burning. I saw people rushing out their cars, then a body lying next to a burning motorbike… I’ve seen some horrific things but that was something else,” he said.

l Meanwhile, eight people were injured when three vehicles collided at the intersection of Somtseu and Brickhill roads in Durban last night.

Netcare 911 paramedics arrived at the scene and found wreckage strewn across the road. Five people sustained serious injuries, while three had minor injuries.

Three people were injured, one critically, when two vehicles collided on the R102 in Upper Melville on the South Coast yesterday evening.


The Mercury