Two pupils die in bus crash as the driver chases after R20

Two North West pupils died when a bus that was ferrying them to school fell off the road into an embankment on Tuesday around 7.30am.
Two North West pupils died when a bus that was ferrying them to school fell off the road into an embankment on Tuesday around 7.30am.
Image: Gallo Images/iStockphoto

Two North West pupils died when a bus that was ferrying them to school fell off the road into an embankment on Tuesday around 7.30am.

The department of education in the province confirmed that the pupils who were in Grade 8 and 9 from Thuto-ke-Maatla secondary school in Groot Marico died at the scene.

North West police spokesperson Captain Sam Tselanyane said the accident happened when the bus rolled off the road after it was left with its engine running after the driver had stopped to chase after someone who had jumped off without paying him as per their earlier agreement. The man had hitched a ride in the scholar transporter from Doorenlaagte in Mogopa to Groot Marico.

"Their agreement was that the [hitchhiker] will pay him R20 for the trip but jumped off the bus and ran off,” Tselanyane said.

“When the bus driver stopped on the N4 to offload the illegal passenger, he ran out of the bus and the driver quickly got off the bus to chased after him, forgetting to switch off the engine.” Tselenyane said the bus rolled down the steep embankment and landed on its side.

Education spokesperson Freddy Sepeng sent condolences to the families of the deceased.

“We are very saddened by what had happened. We send our condolences to the families of the children who passed on, as well as we wish the injured ones a speedy recovery," Sepeng said. He urged the police to get to the bottom of the matter as swiftly as possible.

Captain Tselanyane confirmed the bus driver was arrested and would face charged of culpable homicide.

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