At least five people were killed in a five-car crash on Friday, resulting the closure of the N1 towards Limpopo.
Five vehicles collided just before 10am on the N1 between Kranskop Toll plaza and Polokwane leaving five people dead and several others injured.
According to Arrive Alive, four patients had already succumbed to their numerous injuries and were declared dead at the scene.
“Four other patients were found to be in a critical condition. Medics treated the patients and provided them with advanced life support interventions.
“Unfortunately, during treatment, one critical patient succumbed to their injuries and was declared dead,” the road safety company said in a statement.
The remaining patients were transported to a nearby hospital for further care after they were treated by paramedics.
Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, Limpopo Transport and community safety MEC, Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya indicated the N1 has been closed.
“We are at the scene… at the Modimolle N1 bypass. We have closed both roads just to be able to allow our team to deal with the scene. Up to so far, we have lost five people and we still two others who gone to hospital,” she said.
Lerule-Ramakhanya said authorities were diverting traffic.
“The accident [took place] a few minutes before 10 o’clock and becuase of the sensitivity of the scene that’s why we have closed both lanes. Both north-bound and south-bound [as well as] at Kranskop. We are expecting all traffic to re-route back to the R101,” the MEC said.
She urged motorists to make use of alternative routes.
“We are appealing to all commuters that have not left their destination, especially from the Gauteng province, to go straight to the R101,” Lerule-Ramakhanya said.
December road crashes
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday released the preliminary festive season road safety statistics in Pretoria.
According to the minister, 822 people died on the country’s roads since December started, resulting in a 142% spike in road traffic accidents compared to last year.
“Year-on-year, the number of fatalities has marginally declined by 3,1% from 848 in 2020 to 822 this year. We are seriously concerned about the high number of major crashes, where five or more people perish in a single incident,” Mbalula said.
Human error, the minister highlighted, remained the most common contributor to road accidents.
Mbalula said most fatal crashes happen during the early hours of the morning and early evening between Friday and Sunday.