EKURHULENI - Seven people have died in separate road accidents and another two of gunshot wounds in the City of Ekurhuleni so far this weekend, the city said on Sunday.
"It all started on Friday morning... on the N17 freeway eastbound, Osborn Road on-ramp when two light motor vehicles crashed, resulting [in] two passengers being killed on [the] scene," Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS) spokesman William Ntladi said.
A bakkie with nine occupants was apparently parked in an emergency lane when another vehicle crashed into the back of the bakkie, instantly killing two people and injuring a further four.
The freeway had to be closed for the duration of the clean up operation. A critically injured person was airlifted by helicopter to Sunshine Hospital in Benoni. The others were transported by ambulance to the same hospital.
On Saturday afternoon, a multiple shooting incident was reported at a shopping centre in Klippoortjie Park in Germiston at about 4.50pm. When paramedics and law enforcement units arrived on the scene, they found a man and a woman dead on the floor inside the SPAR supermarket, Ntladi said.
According to information from the scene, an armed robbery had taken place during which the robbers fired random shots, instantly killing the two adults who were believed to have been shoppers. They were declared dead on the scene and the scene was handed over to police for investigations.
At around 6.10pm, a multiple vehicle crash occurred on the R103 northbound in Mapleton in Boksburg, near the Flanagan Road turn-off. Four vehicles were involved, and three men were killed instantly. Three cars, "and apparently a minibus as well, which wasn’t found on [the] scene, were all part of the crash", he said.
Apparently, a VW Golf had broken down and was being pushed by two of its passengers. A Ford Fiesta then crashed into it from behind, instantly killing the two men pushing and the car driver. The jaws-of-life had to be used to recover the dead driver's body from behind the steering wheel.
The driver of the Ford Fiesta and a two-year-old toddler who had been in the car were both seriously injured and were transported to Clinix private hospital in Vosloorus.
The third vehicle, A Toyota Conquest with four occupants, was also damaged but its four occupants escaped with minor injuries. A minibus was not found on the scene, although "information states that it was involved with minor damages and with no casualties", Ntladi said.
Just a few minutes later, about 400 metres away from the initial crash, a VW Polo and a VW Golf collided. "It was on the same road where [the] R103 meets with Luvuyo Street in Mapleton, Boksburg."
A woman passenger in the VW Polo was declared dead on the scene, and two other people, the woman driver and a male passenger, were both seriously injured. Two occupants of the VW Golf were also seriously injured. All four injured people were treated on the scene before being transported to Sunshine Hospital in Benoni.
Another crash occurred in Primrose Oak Street, where a motorcyclist lost control of his bike and crashed. Primrose rescue crews responded promptly to the scene and on arrival found a male biker, aged about 20, lying lifeless on the road. He was declared dead on the scene by paramedics.
The three fatal crashes were being investigated by Ekurhuleni traffic officials, he said.
In another separate incident, at about 8.25pm on Saturday night, an articulated truck was set alight and looted on the R554 eastbound near the Rondebult Bird Sanctuary in Klippoortjie Park. Firefighters from Alberton, Tokoza, and Wadeville fire stations responded with four fire engines, two industrial pumpers, and two water tankers to extinguish the well alight vehicle.
"Police had to be called, as members of Buhle Park community came in numbers to help themselves [to] the groceries from the huge trailer. That hampered the smooth operations of the firefighters, hence police had to be called to enforce the law."
According to information received on the scene, the truck was hijacked and torched after the driver was assaulted and left at the point of the hijacking, allegedly in the Roodekop industrial area in Germiston. The road had to be closed for the duration of the operation, Ntladi said.
African News Agency (ANA)