The death toll from just three accidents in two days in Eastern Cape roads has risen to 12 after yesterday’s accident, which claimed four lives on the R72 between East London and Port Alfred.
One person is fighting for his life in hospital following a horrific pileup between three trucks on a curvy Igoda Bridge on the R72.
This was after eight people died and 13 were rushed to hospital with serious injuries when two accidents happened within three hours apart on the same spot between Mthatha and Dutywa on Monday.
Yesterday’s fatal crash happened when a eight-ton heavy truck which was carrying steel pipes and metal sheets collided head-on with a Hyundai four-ton truck carrying sand and cement.
According to officials on the scene who cannot be named because they are not authorised to speak to the media, the driver of the Hyundai lost control of the vehicle causing the truck to veer all over the road before plunging into an oncoming steel truck. Two workers who were sitting on the back of the Hyundai and another worker who was sitting on the passenger side, were flung out onto the road.
A third truck, a freightliner with a trailer allegedly plunged into the three victims who were scattered on the road.
“A third truck which was driving behind the steel truck ran over the workers while they were on the ground finishing all three off,” a traffic official said.
The official said, “according to an eyewitness who was driving a minibus taxi, concerned motorists kept flickering lights for the driver of the Hyundai to slow down moments before the accident”.
The truck carrying steel supplies was driving from Macsteel Manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth to deliver goods to different dealers in East London. Macsteel Administrative manager John Kepler said: “We cannot even reveal the personal details of the driver without permission from next-of-kin.”
The driver was rushed to Life St Dominics Hospital in East London after sustaining serious injury.
Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo confirmed that the four people who died had been travelling on the Hyundai while the driver of the other truck was rushed to hospital by Dynamic Ambulances to a private hospital.