The armco barrier went right through the car from the left front to the right rear. Picture: Reaction 
Unit South Africa
Durban - “Giving a young man a fast car is like handing over a firearm to a small boy.”

Those were the sentiments of the head of the Verulam Community Police Forum, Duncan Dube, after a local teenager escaped death - literally by millimetres - last Friday night.

The 19-year-old college student had been driving on Inanda Road near Dawncrest just before midnight when his car crashed into a steel barrier, which penetrated the front left of the vehicle and exited through the right rear tail light.

Expensive toys

Prem Balram of Reaction Unit SA's team was among the first on the scene.

"The barrier pinned the driver to the seat and paramedics had to stabilise him,” Balram said. “We received several calls from motorists reporting a speeding car that overtook four vehicles and eventually crashed into a barrier on the opposite lane."

Dube said: “Unfortunately, this is not the first incident where a child was driving. It’s sad, especially when a well-to-do family go out of their way to please their child by giving them expensive toys.

"Children are children. If you give them something they will push the limit. And your Golf GTi and your BMWs are very powerful cars; it’s like giving poison or a firearm to a child. Parents need to be careful how they please their children.”

Paramedics work to free the 19-year-old motorist after he was pinned to his seat by a steel barrier. Picture: Reaction 
Unit South Africa

Vish Roopnarain of the Verulam Civic Association said it was high time youngsters became more responsible on the road to safeguard themselves and others.

“Recently, there have been a high number of serious motor vehicle accidents involving youngsters, many resulting in fatalities. Looking at the photos from Friday night, we can see the boy just escaped death,” he said.

'Without adequate training and experience'

“I think there are many reasons why these incidents occur; mainly drivers’ inexperience on the road and inability to handle the fast cars of today, reckless and negligent driving as well as high speed, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, driving after partying all night and obtaining a driving licence without adequate training and experience.

The teen’s family have indicated that they do not want to discuss the incident.