Cape Town - Police are investigating the deaths of two people after a horrific collision between an empty fuel tanker and car and the apparent subsequent suicide of one victim on the Houwhoek Pass on the N2 between Grabouw and Botrivier on Saturday.
Video footage of the incident shows a man running towards the flames spewing from a fuel tanker alight on the side of the road, with bystanders screaming at him to retreat from the blaze.
Emergency Services manager in the Overberg district municipality Reinard Geldenhuys said: “On Saturday at about 12 noon, the Overberg Fire and Rescue control centre received a call of a vehicle accident on the Cape Town side of Houw Hoek Hotel.
"We dispatched units from Grabouw and Caledon and upon arrival found a petrol tanker which was fortunately empty, well alight and a car down the embankment. One person was dead in the car and we also found a person burnt to death next to the truck that was still burning.”
Geldenhuys said: “Upon investigation, and including witness accounts from people on the scene and a video that was given to us, it appeared that the person was in the car that was involved in a head-on collision with the truck. Then he got out of the car, and threw himself into the burning fuel under the truck, where he succumbed and obviously burnt to death."
The N2 was closed at about 12.15pm on Saturday and reopened at 5.30pm. The unharmed driver of the fuel tanker could be heard saying that the driver of the car, drove into the vehicle, causing the accident.
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed the incident and said an inquest into a death and culpable homicide was opened for investigation.
Rwexana said: “According to information, a blue Renault allegedly drove into an empty fuel truck. The driver of the truck tried to give way and it caught light. The driver of the truck escaped unharmed. Two bodies of unknown people were later discovered once the fire was extinguished.”
Theewaterskloof mayor Christelle Vosloo said she was saddened over the deaths of the two.