18 are killed in road crashes

Mvuyo Mati

Mvuyo Mati

The weekend's road carnage in Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga has claimed at least 18 lives and left 31 people injured.

The hardest hit by road accidents was Eastern Cape, which had 11 deaths and 28 people injured in two separate accidents, including a horror bus crash near Dordrecht on Saturday morning.

Of the 28 people injured, 23 are in a critical condition.

In the bus crash, eight passengers, including three children, died and 18 were injured.

One of the survivors, Thandiswa Mbebe, of Cape Town, lost her right arm and her son, Liyabona, 4, who died instantly after sustaining a head injury.

"I wish I could spend all my time sleeping because when I'm wake I think of my boy," she said.

Mbebe, 31, said the bus made zigzaging movements before it overturned and "people were screaming as the bus skidded over a long distance before it came to a halt.

"One woman died on top of me," she said.

Thozama Makhu, 26, who was on her way to Qumbu, said: "I heard a big bang and realised that it was a burst tyre."

Aviwe Kakaza, 15, said he was still surprised he had survived after being thrown out of the bus.

"The bus was speeding, but it was not overloaded," he said.

Queenstown Metro emergency services spokesman Toto Kontyo said one of the dead passengers was the mother of an injured one-year-old baby. Another injured baby is in a coma.

Provincial traffic spokesman Tshepo Machaea yesterday said the driver of the bus lost control after the left front tyre burst.

Most of the injured were trapped inside the bus for hours while officials arranged that the jaws of life be brought from East London.

Three other people died in a collision involving two vehicles between Alice and Bedford.

At least 10 people were injured, five critically, when a car overturned between Cofimvaba and Tsomo yesterday.

l Mckeed Kotlolo reports that at least five people killed in a head-on collision in Mpumalanga on Saturday were burnt beyond recognition.

Superintendent Abby Khoabane said the accident happened between Standerton and Volksrus when a truck driver overtook another truck on a barrier line.

A bakkie and a sedan tried to avoid the trucks and collided. One occupant of the bakkie was killed instantly.

The driver and two woman occupants were critically injured. The sedan burst into flames.

The driver of the truck will be charged with culpable homicide, reckless and negligent driving.