Two cops, pupil die in head-on collision

TWO policemen and a primary school pupil were killed and six other passengers seriously injured when a police vehicle and a minibus taxi collided in Vereeniging yesterday.

TWO policemen and a primary school pupil were killed and six other passengers seriously injured when a police vehicle and a minibus taxi collided in Vereeniging yesterday.

The two officers and their two colleagues were on their way to work while the 12-year-old pupil, three other pupils and their driver were heading towards Hendrick Vanderbijlpark Primary School when the accident occurred at about 7am.

Police spokesperson Captain Shado Mashobane said they could not release the names of the deceased because their next-of-kin had not yet been informed about the accident.

The fatal crash happened at corner Van Riebeeck and Stanley streets.

Mashobane said they have not yet established the cause of the head-on collision which resulted in the minibus taxi overturning.

The 12-year-old was thrown out of the blue VW Caravelle he was travelling in when it overturned.

It landed on top of him.

It took emergency personnel some time to pull out the pupil's body from under the vehicle.

"The four officers were trapped inside their white VW Golf. Jaws-of-life were used to free the trapped officers from the wreckage," said Mashobane.

A captain who was driving the state vehicle and an inspector who was seating next to him died instantly while the two officers in the back seat were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Mashobane said the driver of the minibus and the other three pupils were taken to Kopanong and Sebokeng hospitals. They also suffered serious injuries.

Vereeniging cluster commander Director Monashi Mohlala said he was shocked and affected by the accident.

Mohlala said the two officers were attached to the Vereeniging vehicle and recovery unit.

"It is sad to lose three lives at once, especially in such a manner. We have lost two officers who were specialists and dedicated to their job," said Mohlala.

He said the deceased's families would be offered trauma counselling and investigations to establish the cause of the accident were under way.

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