19 bodies lay side by side at the scene of the horific bus accident which happened early yesterday morning on the R59 highway off ramp near Meyerton. Picture: Antoine de Ras, 25/06/2012


Survivors of Monday's Putco bus accident near Meyerton, in which 19 people died, have blamed the driver, according to a report on Tuesday.

Elizabeth Xaba, 45, who is being treated in the Sebokeng Hospital, told Beeld newspaper that the driver had not slowed down when he took the turn-off to the bridge.

“He was driving way too fast, and he lost control. I only realised later that we had landed in the stormwater ditch. I could hear many people's voices... some of them were screaming in pain.”

Passenger Ishmael Thomas, 35, who sustained at least eight broken ribs and a damaged lung, said he felt as if he was dying.

“The driver was speeding. Since the accident, I feel like I can't breathe,” he said.

Another injured survivor Martha Nhlapo, 36, who was waiting for medical treatment in the Sebokeng Hospital casualty department, said she remembered the driver hurtling along just before the crash.

“There was nothing in front of him that he might have had to avoid crashing into. No taxi or dog... he just drove too fast.”

Fifty-five people were injured in the crash - three of them critically.

The bus driver was among those killed. - Sapa