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Jun 17, 2022

By Neelam Rahim

Driver error was a contributing factor in the cause of the crash between a truck and bus on the M17 that claimed 15 lives and left 37 injured last Friday.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula released the accident report on Friday.

“The report concluded that driver error is the major contributing factor to the cause of the crash because the truck driver allowed his vehicle to veer off its original lane of travel onto the oncoming lane resulting in a head-on crash,” he said.

 “A full mechanical investigation was conducted on both vehicles and confirmed that there were no mechanical defects or failure that contributed to the occurrence of the crash. It was found that both vehicles were in a roadworthy state before the crash,” said Mbalula.

 Both drivers were also in possession of valid EC1 drivers’ licenses and Professional Driving Permits. “Though one of the drivers was a foreign national, he had all the requisite documentation including the valid register,” said the transport minister.

Weather conditions were clear and were ruled out as a contributory factor.

“The road was in fair condition and not likely to have been a contributory factor.”

 Mbalula said an inquest would be opened.

“The presiding officer (magistrate) assigned this case will have to make a finding after leading evidence by eyewitnesses. It is unfortunate since both drivers died, and consequently, no one can be charged for reckless and negligent driving and/or culpable homicide,” he said.

 Mbalula further mentioned that the Road Accident Fund would be assisting the affected families in processing claims.

“Since the advent of this gruesome accident, we relentlessly visited the bereaved families. We know that all the people who died were the only breadwinners in their families, and they died while on their way to work to earn a living for their families. The hopes of many were dashed by the crash.”


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