Seven people including a toddler were killed when the driver of a car travelling from Port Elizabeth lost control of his vehicle and ploughed into two cars on the N2 near Seven Fountains.
The road was closed shortly after the incident just after 8am on Tuesday 3 September, 30km from Grahamstown.
Arrive Alive spokesman Tshepo Machea told Grocott’s Mail that a Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry and a Nissan Tida were involved in the fatal crash. Machea said the Camry was driving from the direction of Port Elizabeth, when one of its tyres burst.
“The driver lost control and hit the Corolla which was driving in front of it, before going on to collide head-on with the Tida,” he said.
All four people in the Corolla survived and sustained minor injuries.
Machea said the four occupants of the Camry, which included a two-year-old child, were all killed.
He said the three Department of Correctional Services employees were travelling to a meeting in Port Elizabeth when the Camry rammed head-on into them. An eyewitness said two of the Correctional Services employees were men and one was a woman.
He said all three were from Queenstown.
Correctional Services provincial spokesman Zama Feni confirmed that three of his department’s employees had been killed in the crash. Feni said details of the incident were unclear. He said the names would be released once the victims’ next of kin had been notified.
Makana Municipal worker Likhaya Ngandi, who was on his way from Port Elizabeth, was one of the first at the scene.
“I arrived at the scene around 8.20(am), the paramedics were already there and the police. It was a very bad accident, they had to use the jaws of life to remove other passengers who were in the green Toyota Camry,” Ngandi said.
“As I got closer I could see the other passenger was still alive but she was giving up. It was so painful to see a person in that situation,” he said. Ngandi said he could not go closer when he realised there was a young child trapped inside the car.
Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender said the police were investigating a case of culpable homicide.
“It is believed that the vehicle travelling from the direction of Port Elizabeth allegedly suffered a tyre burst and veered on to the opposite lane…,” she said.
Both vehicles hit by the Camry veered off the road and overturned, landing on opposite sides of the road, according to Govender.
“Seven people were fatally wounded including an infant child. Names of the victims will be released once the next of kin have been informed,” Govender said.