Cape Town - Two Cape Town police officers were killed in a car crash while on duty on Christmas Day.
Constable Quinton Snell, 33, and Glynis Lorenzo, 38, died when their patrol van was hit by a BMW on Tuesday morning.
The BMW allegedly jumped a red light and collided with the police van in Parow just before 2am, resulting in the death of the two officers.
ER24’s Vanessa Jackson said the incident was one of 10 fatal road crashes across the country.
She said the accident in which the officers were killed took place in De La Rey Street early on Christmas Day.
“The details surrounding the incident are not clear, as the incident is believed to have involved a state vehicle and police are investigating,” Jackson said.
“The two occupants of the one vehicle were declared dead on scene, while the other three patients were taken to Tygerberg Hospital by ambulance for further medical care.”
According to reports,
police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said Lorenzo and Snell were on a visible policing patrol when they were killed.
He said the driver of the BMW, who had been hospitalised after the crash, would be charged with culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving once discharged.
Van Wyk said a blood alcohol test had been performed on the driver.
Based on the test results, the driver could be charged with drunk driving.
Lorenzo’s sister, Deidre Gordon, said on Wednesday that Snell and Lorenzo had been working together since the beginning of the year and grew very close.
“They were very close to one another, they were like brother and sister, they didn’t want to be apart,” Gordon said.
She said the two had been together since she could remember and that she will miss having regular conversations with her sister.
“She was a very loveable person and was committed to her job… I will miss chatting to her, she was very supportive,” she said.
Gordon said her sister was supposed to have joined the family for lunch on Christmas Day after finishing her shift.
“The lunch was cooked by her and she was going to join us at church after her night shift; then we would come home and eat,” Gordon said.
Lorenzo was one of three girls. She was single and had no children.
As police examined the scene of the crash yesterday, a witness said that a woman, believed to be Snell’s partner, was hysterical and repeatedly shouted “you said you would never leave me”.
Snell, who lived in the street in which the accident happened, was remembered by friends and colleagues on Facebook.
Gillian Ohlson posted: “My deepest sincere condolences go out to the family of Constable Quinton Snell who lost his life in the early morning in a car accident whilst on duty. May your soul R.I.P and may God keep His comforting hand over your family.”
“We truly had great times when we all worked together as a unit (A team) u will surely b missed…” wrote another friend.
Priscilla Johannes, was in sheer disbelief and simply posted: “Yor, I can’t believe it, RIP Quinton Snel.”
The fatal crash was one of over 1 000 road fatalities on the country’s roads so far this festive season.
Ashref Ismail, of the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s (RTMC), confirmed that the national death toll was estimated to be over 1 100.
He said the estimate was based on the fact that between 38 and 40 people died on the country’s roads every day.
“This is a year-round issue and we should make a big fuss about it and get the civil society, political leaders and all road users to assist in decreasing road carnage,” Ismail said.
Meanwhile, a three-week-old baby was killed when a car rolled at Camperdown, on the N3 between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, ER24 medics reported yesterday.
The baby was one of 11 fatalities from accidents across the country that the medics reported attending to between 8pm on Monday and 6am on Tuesday.
“It appears that the three-week-old baby boy had been ejected from the vehicle as it rolled, and he was found lying outside the vehicle,” said ER24’s Vanessa Jackson.
Two people died in an accident in the Free State that happened in the rain, between Welkom and Virginia. A further three people were injured.
Also in the province, a pedestrian was killed in Navalsig, Bloemfontein and a further three were killed outside Paul Roux when their cars were involved in a head-on collision.
In Mpumalanga, two people died and one was injured in a crash on the N12, near Witbank.
“A single vehicle had left the road and the vehicle had rolled into a roadside ditch,” said Jackson.