Head-on collision claims 12 lives

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pretoria - Twelve people, including nine children, have lost their lives in a collision between a truck and a bakkie on the R603 near Umbumbulu, KwaZulu-Natal.

Preliminary findings indicate that the truck and bakkie collided head-on around 6.30pm on Monday on the R603. Police are investigating 12 counts of culpable homicide.

The Department of Transport has since dispatched a team of accident investigation and reconstruction specialists to assist in the investigation of the crash and to determine the exact cause.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has conveyed condolences to the families of the victims.

"We want to convey our condolences to the families of those killed and wish the injured a speedy recovery," Ndebele said, adding that the death of nine innocent children was an unnecessary loss of life.

"We cannot continue putting the lives of children at risk. This crash has deprived parents of children who died before their time," he said.

Meanwhile, Ndebele has warned public transport operators that as part of the festive season traffic law enforcement plan, dedicated enforcement on public transport vehicles will be intensified.

He also welcomed the removal of another 24 unroadworthy Putco buses from Gauteng's roads on Monday.

"We want to warn public transport operators, particularly operators of buses and taxis that more unroadworthy vehicles will be taken off the roads in other provinces as well.

All road users are encouraged to report bad driving on 0861 400 800.