Road death toll at 21 after weekend

By Malibongwe Dayimani

The death toll on Eastern Cape roads has climbed to 21 since the weekend, following another horror smash yesterday which claimed the lives of three people.

They were killed when a Mazda Sting sedan they were travelling in from the Port Alfred direction collided head-on with a Toyota Quantum minibus taxi, said Eastern Cape Department of Transport spokeswoman, Khuselwa Rantjie.

The driver of the Quantum was arrested on the spot for driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless and negligent driving, said Rantjie.

East London police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Hazel Mqala said the suspect was admitted to Frere Hospital with serious injuries.

Mqala said the suspect was under police guard in hospital and would be charged for culpable homicide, reckless and negligent driving and driving under the influence of alcohol.

She said blood samples taken from the driver showed that he consumed alcohol beyond the legal limit.

“He will be arrested once he is discharged and will appear in court.”

Rantjie said: “Drinking and driving is one of the main contributing factors to road crashes and we appeal to motorists and road users in general to refrain from this.”

Rantjie said all three, including the driver, were in the sedan.

Two passengers in the backseat were killed.

The smash took place at the deadly R72 at Keiskamma cuttings at 4am.

In crashes on Sunday:

  •  Two sisters were killed on the N2 between Centane and Butterworth when their car, headed from Butterworth to Centane, overturned near Turura Village, Centane. The sisters died on the scene;
  •  A man was killed instantly on the R56 between Matatiele and Mt Fletcher after the car he was driving hit a stray animal at 7.30pm;
  •  One person was killed and eight were critically injured at Emvakomzi on the R394 outside Bizana towards Bizana when a Toyota double cab carrying 11 passengers overturned.

In crashes on Saturday:

  •  Two passengers in a minibus taxi were killed when a tyre burst, causing the vehicle to overturn. The fatal incident took place on the R61 between Aberdeen and Beaufort West about 60km from Aberdeen at 4am. Eastern Cape traffic deputy director Charles Bramwell said the Quantum was travelling from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape. A case of culpable homicide was opened at the Aberdeen police station;
  • One person was killed in Mqanduli when a bakkie carrying five passengers overturned near Upper Ngwarha. Four people sustained injuries and were taken to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital.
  • A minibus taxi overturned multiple times, killing three people on the N2 near Hankey. Thirteen critically injured people were airlifted to Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth. —



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