South Africa — A Pinetown accident has injured 80 and killed 22. Thursday night’s crash was reportedly caused by a truck, which slammed into at least five vehicles. Officials are still investigating the accident.
Four of the vehicles were minibus taxis. Each taxi was carrying numerous passengers.
As reported by eNCA, Democratic Alliance councillor Rick Crouch blames the road conditions on M13, also known as Fields Hill. He has argued for years that the road is not suitable for trucks.
Crouch says the road’s steep gradient often contributes to accidents. He explains that the hill makes emergency stops difficult or impossible. Stopping can be especially difficult for trucks carrying heavy loads.
Crouch contends that the Pinetown accident was preventable:
“No matter what the cause of this accident turns out to be, ultimately it is the fault of the MEC and his Department of Transport… that the truck should not have been allowed to be there.”
According to crouch, trucks often use M13 to avoid the tolls on N3.
As reported by All Africa, the truck driver was arrested in connection with the crash. KwaZulu-Natal police Colonel Vincent Mdunge says the driver was charged with homicide, negligence, and reckless operation.
Evergreen Transport company may face charges as well. If the cause is linked to the brakes, they may be charged with failure to maintain the truck.
A “high-level” investigation was ordered by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.
The accidents are blamed on numerous factors, including poor vehicle maintenance, road conditions, lack of precaution, and lax law enforcement.
The official cause of the Pinetown accident is still under investigation. However, the truck driver is being held responsible. He is currently in police custody.
[Image via Flickr]