EC Transport Dept assists accident victims' families

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

King Williamstown - The Eastern Cape Transport MEC says her department will do everything it can to support the families of the 20 people killed in a car accident on Monday.

MEC Thandiswa Marawu was in Alice outside King Williamstown on Wednesday visiting the families of 17 victims of the accident involving two taxis and a truck on the N1 highway near Prince Albert in the Western Cape on Monday.

"We will make sure the families are assisted with transport and funeral arrangements. We will call in other stakeholders like the social development department to assist the families who lost their loved ones, as many of them were the sole breadwinners in their families," said Marawu.

Her department would also assist the families to claim from the Road Accident Fund.

Western Cape traffic authorities said the accident happened when two minibuses travelling from the Eastern Cape crashed into the trailer of a broken down truck. Western Cape Transport Minister Robin Carlisle said he would ensure charges are brought against the surviving two drivers.

"We expect that very serious charges of murder or culpable homicide will be brought against the two drivers, one from the truck and the other from the second taxi to crash into the truck's side," said Carlisle.

National Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said an independent team of investigators had been dispatched to the accident scene to investigate and that Road Accident Fund officials would provide assistance to the affected families.

He added that while road safety was a key priority for government, it was all road users' responsibility to ensure road safety.

"Public transport operators must ensure that no long distance trips are undertaken without a relief driver, particularly as we head towards the December holidays," said Ndebele.

The accident survivors are being treated in hospitals in Beaufort West, George and Tygerburg, while the less seriously injured received treatment in Prince Albert and Laingsburg.

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