Bakkie accidents leave 32 injured

TWO bakkies used as public transport overturned yesterday morning in separate accidents in KwaZulu-Natal, leaving 32 people - including schoolchildren - injured.

In the first accident an overloaded bakkie transporting 25 people overturned on the R56 in Kokstad in southern KwaZulu-Natal.

It is alleged that the driver ran away from the scene after the accident had occurred.

In a separate accident eight pupils are counting themselves lucky after suffering minor injuries when their bakkie overturned in Table Mountain Road in Woodlands, Pietermaritzburg.

ER24 spokesperson Derrick Banks said paramedics arrived on the scene on the R56 and found the bakkie lying on its side with the canopy still connected to it but severely damaged.

"Emergency personnel were deeply shocked to find that the bakkie was carrying 25 people," Banks said.

Four people were treated for serious injuries and another four for minor to moderate injuries.

"The bakkie was travelling along the R56 outside Kokstad when it o experienced mechanical problems.

The driver lost control and the vehicle overturned," he said.

"Four pupils suffered possible neck and back injuries and needed to be stabilised on the scene with specialised equipment before being taken to various hospitals in the area for further medical treatment," he said.

Banks said it was not clear what had caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

The police are investigating the cause of the accident.