News / South Africa

Vicky Abraham
1 minute read
11 Aug 2017
6:10 am

Driver speaks of N3 crash horror

Vicky Abraham

One of the victims is still in a critical condition in hospital.

Truck driver, Robert Tebulo - Banda (59) speaks to The Citizen at Bertha Gxowa hospital in Johannesburg, 10 August 2017, about his ideal after a pedestrian bridge on the N3 highway in Germiston collapsed. Four people were injured. Picture:Nigel Sibanda

The 59-year-old truck driver whose vehicle ploughed into the collapsed bridge on the N3 highway in Germiston, moments after it fell, managed to escape through a window of the truck cab, but had to leave his wife trapped in the mangled wreckage.

Robert Tebulo-Banda and his daughter, Leah, seven, managed to get free, but his wife, Maymanat, 46, could not get out.

She was freed after emergency services personnel used the “jaws of life” to remove metal from around her. Maymanat was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition.

Tebulo-Banda sustained minor injuries to his left leg, right rib and hand and was discharged from hospital yesterday. Leah was unharmed and discharged on Wednesday.

The former Malawian government ministerial and presidential driver, who now lives in Cape Town, said he was travelling with his wife and daughter back from Cape Town, where he had gone to transport goods for his employer.

Lying on the hospital bed at Bertha Gxowa Hospital, Tebulo-Banda said: “We were on our way back from Cape Town, travelling on the N3 and just two metres away from us, the bridge collapsed and the truck crashed into it. While stuck, I asked my wife where we were, and she told me we had been involved in an accident.

“My wife was in the passenger seat and our daughter was sleeping behind us. There was blood on my wife’s face. I was crying and my wife was also crying, asking me to please take her out of there.”

His brother, Salim Banda, 60, said: “His wife is critical and does not recognise us.” – vickya@citizen.co.za