Man in a coma after N2 stoning
Cape Town - A Macassar man is in an induced coma at Vincent Pallotti Hospital after he was critically injured when a rock was flung through his car’s windscreen on the N2.
Julius Jantjies, 27, and his work colleague, Garth Vermeulen, 22, were on their way to the city when the attack happened just before the R300 off-ramp on Wednesday.
Vermeulen, who spoke on behalf of Jantjies’ family, said that as they travelled he and Jantjies spotted a man in the middle of the road.
“We thought it was just another guy waiting for us to drive past so he could run over the road, but as we came closer to him we saw he had a big rock in his hand. As we came past him he threw the rock, the size of a sweet melon, through the front window,” Vermeulen said.
Jantjies was struck on the head and knocked unconscious.
“I grabbed the steering wheel to steer us away from the concrete barrier we were about to hit,” Vermeulen said.
After pulling over, other motorists stopped to help.
“He (Jantjies) had a massive gash on the side of his head.
I’m still in quite a state.
“I haven’t slept since and his family is in total shock. They are hoping for the best,” Vermeulen said.
Police spokesman Andre Traut said police were investigating a case of attempted murder.
On Thursday, there were reports of four men with rocks spotted on the Baden Powell bridge. Two local residents, Gavin Erasmus and Michael Green, said they had seen them, but police had no record of stone-throwing on the N2.
“Incidents of this nature are viewed in a very serious light. The entire route is well policed by the Western Cape Flying Squad, assisted by patrols from the local police stations and other law enforcement agencies,” Traut said.
Last year, police deployed additional officers to patrol the N2 following a spate of robberies of motorists ambushed by stone-throwers or rocks placed in the road.
Provincial Traffic chief Kenny Africa said traffic forces would increase their visibility on the N2 and R300 if a trend was starting to emerge.
“We ask motorists to always be careful on the N1, N2 and R300. People can throw stones from anywhere. Motorists must be cautious when they see rocks on the road. Do not stop and get out of your car,” Africa warned.