Road mayhem spells disaster

Zinhle Mapumulo and Sapa

Zinhle Mapumulo and Sapa

A drunk motorist trying to crash through a roadblock hit and killed a police captain during an inner-city anti-crime operation in Johannesburg at the weekend.

Spokesman Captain Bheki Mavundla said the captain was hit by a Toyota Corolla while crossing a road in Mondeor at 11.30am on Saturday.

The captain was returning from a roadblock to a SANDF helicopter providing air support to the anti-crime initiative, Operation Trio. He was based at the provincial crime combating unit and is believed to have been 50 years old.

Mavundla said the 40-year-old driver was arrested less than a kilometre from the accident after he ran away, leaving his car behind. He will appear in court today on charges of culpable homicide and drunken driving.

Mavundla said 114 people were arrested in Operation Trio, which involved the inner-city police stations of Hillbrow, Johannesburg Central, Booysens and Jeppe.

Altogether a total of 28 people were killed and 33 others injured in separate accidents across the country at the weekend.

Two people died when the car in which they were travelling overturned at the N1 highway in Midrand and rolled several times.

In another gruesome accident, a man was burnt beyond recognition when his car crashed into a barrier on the Rivonia off-ramp on the N1 and caught fire.

A few kilometres away, another person was killed and two others seriously injured when their car crashed into a car in front of them.

In Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, three people were killed when a pedestrian walked in front of a car, causing the driver of the car to collide with a bakkie, killing both drivers. Two other passengers from both vehicles were seriously injured, and a third passenger sustained minor injuries.

In a separate accident also in Roodepoort, an elderly man was injured after the car in which he was travelling collided with a bakkie.

In Orange Farm six people were seriously injured when the minibus taxi they were travelling in veered out of control and overturned.

Three people from the same taxi sustained minor injuries, and the driver and others were said to be in a serious condition.

In another accident a young man was seriously injured after he lost control of his car and crashed into a tree.

In the Western Cape 12 people were killed and five seriously injured when the taxi they were travelling in overturned on the N1 between Laingsburg and Leeu-Gamka. The dead are believed to all be from the same family.

In KwaZulu-Natal four people were killed and two injured in separate accidents.

The first accident happened on the N2 in Matubatuba where a truck smashed into another stationary truck, killing three people.

In Chatsworth, Durban, an 11-year-old boy was hit by a car while walking on a pavement. The driver of the car was allegedly drunk. He will appear in court today.