376 10-09-2012 Paramedics practicing for the exams open cutting new cars with the jaws of life for rescue at fords manufacturing company in Pretoria. Picture: Tiro Ramatlhatse

Pietermaritzburg - Just hours into the new year, two people died in a car crash near Pietermaritzburg.

This was after the acting chief executive of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, Collins Letsoalo, appealed to road users to “change their mindset” and reduce the unacceptable carnage on South Africa’s roads.

ER24 spokesman Derrick Banks said the accident happened in Manning Road, Mountain Rise, at about 2.30am on Tuesday when two cars crashed head-on.

“We arrived at the scene to find two people, who were in one of the cars, were still trapped inside,” Banks said.

They had already died and the Jaws of Life were used to remove their bodies from the car.

Banks said the three people in the other car sustained various injuries that included suspected neck and back injuries, cuts and abrasions as well as possible broken bones.

“Advanced Life Support intervention” was performed before the patients were transported to local hospitals.”

In Ballito, a 28-year-old woman was critically injured when the vehicle in which she was a passenger overturned on the N2 between Shaka’s Rock and Ballito on Tuesday.

Netcare 911 spokeswoman Santi Steinmann said the woman was very badly hurt but was stabilised before being taken to hospital. - The Mercury