While police confirmed that two motorists have been charged with drunken driving and one with a further charge of culpable homicide, relatives of two-year-old Caleb Raadt were beside themselves with grief after a motorist ploughed into the toddler and his teenaged uncle, Waldo, who were enjoying their Sunday afternoon in Roodepan.
As curious residents waited for pathology to remove the toddler’s body on Sunday, an elderly relative who was on the scene sobbed uncontrollably.
“Why could it not have been me,” she cried. “I’m old. I have lived my life. He was only a baby.”
According to Suzette Bok, Caleb and his elder sister were staying with her during the school holidays, while their mother worked in Upington, having recently relocated from Kimberley.
The children were visiting relatives in Eagle Street when the incident occurred.
“I’m staying at the shacks and when I heard that there was an accident I sent some of the children to go and find out what had happened,” said Bok.
“When they came back and told me that the child was dead and that his uncle (Waldo) had been taken to hospital, I was completely shocked.
“I’m not sure if his mother has been told yet but I can’t imagine how I would feel if I were so far away and received such terrible news.
“We are all devastated.”
Michelle Bezuidenhout, who was the passenger in the other vehicle that was involved in the accident, said that they were driving in Eagle Street shortly after noon when the incident occurred.
“My father was driving the bakkie and checked to see if there were any vehicles behind him as he was preparing to turn,” she said on the scene on Sunday. “Out of nowhere, we suddenly noticed a white VW Polo trying to overtake him on the wrong side but there wasn’t much he could do.
“We saw the Polo go onto the pavement and drive into the bigger child but didn’t realise that there had also been a smaller boy with him.”
The driver of the Polo, as well as the 13-year-old, sustained minor injuries and received medical attention on site from Emer-G-Med paramedics before they were both transported to the Kimberley Hospital Complex.
The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Health, Lebogang Majaha, said that Waldo was in a stable condition, while a police spokesperson, Sergeant Majang Skalkie, said that the two suspects were expected to appear in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court soon.
“A 69-year-old suspect has been charged with drunken driving while a 27-year-old was charged with drunken driving and culpable homicide,” said Skalkie. “The investigation continues.”
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