Kimberley - A Kimberley 22-year-old taxi “jumpboy” was hit and then dragged under a truck. For his family many unanswered questions remain regarding the moments before his death.
The body of Alouine de Sanderez was covered in a space blanket after he was crushed between the four tyres of the truck.
Allan Street in the Kimberley CBD was closed off to traffic late on Thursday night following the incident.
Onlookers gathered as emergency workers attempted to remove the body of the deceased, which was stuck between the wheels of the truck.
According to one witness, Alouine was sitting on the pavement when they saw him being dragged by the truck as it drove off.
“The truck was pulling away and we shouted at the driver that someone was stuck under the wheels. At first he did not hear us. Some of the taxi drivers and other people at the scene ran to the truck and indicated to the driver to stop.
“He immediately stopped, but did not know what was happening. He was clearly in shock after realising what had happened,” the witness said.
“I then called an ambulance. It was a terrible scene... the man’s arms were under the one wheel and his legs under another.”
The deceased was dragged for about 20 metres before the truck stopped.
Alouine’s family said that they are desperate for answers on how the incident happened.
His uncle, Andre van Wyk, said the sequence of events does not make any sense to them.
“We heard that Alouine was sitting on the pavement and that the truck somehow dragged him along after it took it. However, we also heard that Alouine and another driver taxi driver walked around the corner to where the truck was parked.”
According to Van Wyk the taxi driver who was with Alouine at the time, is missing. “We have tried numerous times to get hold of him in order for him to tell us what happened. We heard that the driver handed over his vehicle’s keys and is no longer employed,” he said.
“We want to know what Alouine was doing there. A truck first needs to stand and idle for a few minutes before it can drive off. Why would anyone sit next to such a huge vehicle whilst it is busy idling? Surely anyone would have gotten up or be scared to even get close to it,” he said.
The family has requested the police to assist in tracking down the taxi driver.
“We do not know the person personally, but we do know what he looks like. Since this incident we have not seen him nor has he been to work. We also told the police to look for the man, but it does not appear as if they are taking the matter seriously because we are still in the dark with regards to the investigation.
“We are not saying that anyone is to blame, but we need more information in order to move on,” Van Wyk said.
The family also approached colleagues of the deceased to determine whether there might have been any disagreements or arguments prior to the incident.
“Everyone only had good things to say about Alouine.”
Van Wyk said they got a call on Thursday that Alouine was involved in an accident.
“The taxi driver for whom Alouine worked, called me and said there had been an accident. I then called his mother while the driver’s brother went to fetch her and took her to the scene. On my way to the scene I did not think it was something major.
“However, my heart skipped a few beats the moment I saw the flashing lights of the emergency vehicles. I saw my sister on the ground screaming for her son.”
Alouine’s mother, Suzanne van Wyk, sat with her eyes closed as she listened to her brother talking to reporters.
She said the last time she spoke to her son was when he told her that he was leaving for work.
“He usually left at about 6am. He just said: ‘Mommy, I am leaving now’... and I greeted him,” she said.
His family said they will always remember the deceased for his humbleness. “He was very humble and forever smiling. He was not a problematic youngster.”
Police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel, Dimakatso Mooi, said they are investigating a homicide.
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