25 People have been confirmed dead following a crash on Monday in which a bus veered off a gravel road in the Eastern Cape and landed in a gorge. The passengers were mostly pensioners and young people. Photo: Bhekizizwe Radebe/African News Agency (ANA)
25 People have been confirmed dead following a crash on Monday in which a bus veered off a gravel road in the Eastern Cape and landed in a gorge. The passengers were mostly pensioners and young people. Photo: Bhekizizwe Radebe/African News Agency (ANA)

Three horrific crashes in 3 days claim 35 lives

By Botho Molosankwe and Ndinannyi Mpilo Time of article published Mar 2, 2020

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Johannesburg - Thirty-five people have been killed and 69 more were injured in three separate horrific crashes in three days on South African roads.

In one incident, mourners going to a funeral died on their way to the funeral in Mpumalanga. 

In the other incident, there was a three car pile up which claimed multiple lives. In the third incident, which has been the most widely reported on Monday, Eastern Cape pensioners going to town died when their bus lost control, crashed and rolled down an embankment.

The first crash happened along the R25 between Bloompoort and Groblersdal in Mpumalanga around 3am on Saturday.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the crash occurred when the driver of a bakkie carrying nine passengers and travelling towards Groblersdal lost control. 

The bakkie veered off the road and overturned. Five people, including the driver, were killed. All of them were related.

"They were travelling to a funeral in Tafelkop, Limpopo Province at the time of the crash.

"Five passengers who were slightly injured have since been discharged from the hospital," he said.

The second crash happened on Saturday night around 11pm in Vanderbiljpark and claimed five lives.

ER24's Russel Meiring said they and other paramedics arrived at the scene to find two light motor vehicles on the side of the road while another was in the middle of the road.

"On closer inspection, paramedics found four patients lying trapped inside one of the light motor vehicles. 

"Three of the entrapped patients had already succumbed to the numerous injuries while the fourth was in a critical condition," he said.

Meiring said paramedics had to use specialised tool to free a woman was who critically injured and trapped inside a vehicle.

"Unfortunately, during the extrication, the woman succumbed to her injuries. 

"Three other patients from the other vehicles were assessed and a woman, believed to be 8-months-pregnant, had sustained numerous injuries and was in critical condition while two other patients had sustained moderate injuries.

Meiring said they treated the pregnant woman at the scene but she later died.

The last accident occurred on Monday morning in the Eastern Cape where a bus carrying over 80 people, mianly pensioners, rolled down 300m down a hill.

The bus was travelling from Cebe to Butterworth and allegations are that the driver lost control of the bus which then rolled down a steep embankment.

Sixty-two people were injured in that crash.

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