Pietermaritzburg – In a tragic start to the holiday weekend a six-year-old boy was killed and three other people were injured in an accident on the N3 near Howick on Wednesday.
The boy’s identity was not released.
Four other travellers were seriously injured in an accident that involved a number of vehicles including a caravan in the Durban area, and 13 people were hurt in a collision between two taxis on the N11 at the foot of Amajuba Pass. The patients suffered minor to moderate injuries.
ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said ER24 paramedics and other emergency services responded to the accident near Howick. They found a car and a bakkie lying in the middle of the road, and a truck parked a few metres away.
The child, who had already died, was found lying on the front seat of the car.
Meiring said it was understood the boy was thrown forward from the back to the front of the vehicle when the
Three other people in the car sustained moderate injuries.
They were treated at the scene and thereafter transported to the Life Hilton Hospital for further care.
The occupants of the bakkie and truck were not injured.
The circumstances in which the accident happened are under investigation.
KZN Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said at this stage it was not known if the boy was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident but said the investigation will reveal that.
According to the law all occupants in a vehicle should have their seatbelts on, if seatbelts are fitted in the vehicle, she said.
Netcare 911 meanwhile yesterday attended an accident on the M7 in Durban involving a caravan and other vehicles. Four people suffered serious injuries in the accident and a fifth escaped with minor injuries.
A 911 rescue official used the Jaws of Life to extricate the injured patients, including removing the door and roof of a bakkie, said spokesperson, Chris Botha.
He said at the accident scene under the N2 bridge, they found the crumpled remains of the vehicles involved blocking the highway. These included the caravan of holidaymakers who were on their way to the south coast.
The RTI said the accident was allegedly caused when a truck failed to stop at a red robot and collided with three
Netcare 911 yesterday urged the public not to hesitate to call the emergency line 082 911 when in need over the festive season, saying emergency services’ “guardian angels” will be out on the roads to watch over travellers at all times.
The organisation said in order to be able to provide efficient emergency assistance to motorists on the N3 highway to Durban, Netcare 911 has established a rescue base at Harrismith with ambulances and an advanced life support response vehicles also operating from there.
“The roads are extremely busy over the holiday season and poor driving habits coupled with a lack of safety awareness can unfortunately lead to high numbers of largely preventable road accidents,” said Netcare 911’s Shalen Ramduth.
He added that it has been estimated that six out of 10 drivers killed in vehicle accidents in SA were found to be under the influence of alcohol.
RTI reported that traffic volumes on the N3 were high yesterday and were expected to increase further today (Christmas Eve).
Mngomezulu said at 3 pm yesterday 2 005 vehicles were passing through Mariannhill toll plaza en route to the coast. “When we exceed 1 000 vehicles then eyebrows are raised. Normal volumes are 500 to 700 per hour,” said Mngomezulu.
•Always buckle up.
•Get enough sleep before setting off.
•Avoid alcohol before and during the journey.
•Stop for a break every two hours
•If tired, stop and take a nap or stretch your legs. Wait for at least 10 minutes before getting back into the car.
•Keep the temperature in the vehicle cool, as warmth encourages sleepiness.
Ramduth says when calling the emergency line 082 911 immediately state that you have an emergency, give your name and contact number clearly. Then say if the situation is life threatening. “Be specific,” says Ramduth. “Give your exact location or address where those needing help can be found.”