11 perish in three major crashes in Mpu over the weekend

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All photos: Tumelo waga Dibakwane.)

Tumelo waga Dibakwane

Failure to obey traffic rules, excessive speeding and general disregard for other road users are suspected to have led to three major crashes and no less than 11 people dying.

Although police are still investigating these crashes, human error cannot be ruled out at this stage. Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Pat Ngomane have sent condolences to the families of those who have died in three separate crashes over the weekend.

In the early hours of Saturday morning a driver on the R536 Road between Hazyview and Kruger Gate near Hoxanne lost control of his car and hit a tree. All three men in the vehicle died on the scene.  It has since emerged that the driver of the vehicle was a traffic officer attached to the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality.

Yesterday (Sunday) at about 15h00, a side swipe crash involving two sedans, resulted in seven fatalities on the N4 Road at Paardeplaats near Belfast. The cars involved, a Mercedes Benz travelled from Belfast’s direction towards Middelburg while the Kia from the opposite direction.

There were five people in the Mercedes Benz including the driver and two occupants in the Kia. All occupants in both vehicles were killed on impact. On the same stretch of road, four vehicles and a minibus taxi collided resulting into one death. Three seriously injured occupants were transported to hospital and ten were slightly injured.

MEC Ngomane says that this is an indication that plans for the festive season need to be intensified to curb road crashes. “We need to start now and put in place intensive strategies as the holiday is approaching which is usually characterised by high volumes of traffic and increased road crashes. We will also not tolerate any lawlessness as traffic officers will be deployed on all major routes,” he said.

Meanwhile, 26-year-old Brian Cyneath Beets who was caught driving at 189 km/h on a 120 km/h zone in October has been sentenced to a fine of R8000 or 8 months’ imprisonment at the Nelspruit Magistrate Court last week. Ngomane has praised the Department of Justice saying this will serve as a deterrent to other motorists who disobey the law.