Cape Town - Police in the Garden Route are investigating a case of culpable homicide after a bus lost control and rolled down an embankment at the weekend.
On Saturday, a rugby team from Wittedrift near Plettenberg Bay were headed home after playing at NMMU Saasveld, near George, when the bus they were travelling in rolled down an embankment in Wilderness Heights near George.
According to Ross Campbell, the spokesperson for ER24, the bus was carrying rugby players, staff, supporters and family members at the time.
The crash resulted in the death of a three-year-old boy, critically injuring two men and further injuring 34 others after its brakes allegedly failed.
“ER24 paramedics were on the scene at 6.30pm during load shedding along with the Fire Department, Metro Rescue, Metro EMS and two other private Emergency Medical Services. It is believed that the bus was travelling back to Wittedrift close to Plettenberg Bay after playing rugby at NMMU Saasveld, near George.
“They had apparently taken this road through the back of Wilderness to connect to the N2 as the Saasveld Road was closed due to flood damage.
“The bus was found down an embankment at about an 80-degree angle on its side, having crashed through a private residence's deck.
“A three-year-old toddler was unfortunately found to have suffered fatal injuries and was declared dead on arrival by Metro EMS.
“Two men in their 30s were found entrapped in the vehicle and in a critical condition. They required advanced life support interventions, and their extraction took a long time, a combined effort led by Metro Rescue.
“ER24 transported both patients to George Provincial Hospital for further care,” Campbell said.
He said a further 34 men, women and children were treated at the scene and transported to hospital for minor injuries they sustained.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Christopher Spies said a case of culpable homicide had been opened for investigation.
He said five passengers escaped the crash unharmed.