TRUCKer killed in crash

WRECKAGE: Oranges are spilled from a truck that rolled down a steep road at Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga on Friday. Pic: Riot Hlatshwayo. 02/08/2009. © Sowetan.
WRECKAGE: Oranges are spilled from a truck that rolled down a steep road at Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga on Friday. Pic: Riot Hlatshwayo. 02/08/2009. © Sowetan.

A TRUCK driver died and his passenger was seriously injured when his vehicle missed a bend and plunged down gorge.

The truck was transporting oranges on Friday along one of the most notorious steep roads in Mpumalanga, the mountainous winding road between Bushbuckridge and Marite, at about 5pm. This is about 10km from where two trucks collided last year, killing 25 people, who were on their way to work.

Police closed the R40 road for about three hours while paramedics attended the to the driver and passenger.

The driver had apparently failed to negotiate a curve and his truck crashed into road barriers and rolled down the gorge and landed on its roof.

The truck driver was trapped inside the cab, forcing paramedics to use the jaws of life to free him before confirming that he was dead.

The passenger was rushed to Mapulaneng Hospital in a serious condition.

Some motorists were seen picking up oranges that were scattered all over the place after the accident.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Superintendent Abie Khoabane said they were investigating a case of culpable homicide.

Despite the accident, Mpumalanga has this year recorded a lesser number of road fatalities compared to the same time last year.

Khoabane said the truck driver's identity would be revealed once his next of kin had been found.

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