A teenage boy was killed at Amalinda KFC yesterday, squashed by a falling trolley loaded with frozen chicken after it broke loose from an internal tail lift of a refrigerator truck.
Truck driver Fumanekile Gxasheka, 51, said he was up in the truck and pushing the trolley to the tail lift when its safety brakes broke sending the trolley groundwards.
Gxasheka said he and his assistant Bongani Vokwana, 56, who was operating the machine, were approached by the “street kid”, 13, for a job but told him to go away. “We told him nicely we didn’t have money or job for him and that he should just leave us alone and continued with our work, but he decided to stick around and watched us working.”
The truck had come from the Coega IDZ in Port Elizabeth to deliver frozen chicken and ingredients including flour and spices to three East London KFC outlets.
The incident took place at 11am in full view of customers since the outlet’s off-loading zone is in the public parking lot. Horrified customers ran to rescue the boy, who was trapped under the loaded metal cage. Eyewitness Nonzukiso Matshayana, 47, of Saxilby Street, said the trolley with its load of boxes of frozen chicken “looked as if it weighed the same as if it was carrying a load of rocks”.
Matshayana said she heard the truck driver shouting “get out of the way” and looked up and saw the trolley knocking the boy down.
Matshayana said the trolley flattened the victim and came to rest on top of him for a few seconds before customers rushed to remove it.
“I shouted at them to call an ambulance quickly. The boy managed to sit on his buttocks and talked briefly with the people who were helping him but collapsed seconds later and died. It was painful bhuti.”
Matshayana said the victim belonged to a group of three homeless kids making money by washing and watching customer’s cars.
Cambridge police spokesman Captain Mluleki Mbi said an inquest docket was opened by Cambridge police. No one was arrested.
In a statement to the Dispatch last night, KFC Africa Public Affairs Director Thabisa Mkhwanazi said: “The police were on site to respond, and the matter is currently under police investigation.
“We are committed to supporting the authorities in their investigation and we will continue to provide them with any information they require. We extend our deep and heartfelt condolences to the family.” — firstname.lastname@example.org