Mar

Deadly start to the Easter weekend

2018-03-29 15:36
R59 crash: This is the truck in which Amor Nero was killed on the R59.

From a trucking perspective, it’s been a horrible start to the Easter long weekend with a number of deadly crashes involving trucks taking place within the past 24 hours. This is a warning for everyone to take extra care out there. We just have to take care as too many people are dying.

The first crash – on the R59 – was an horrific smash between two trucks on the R59 southbound just after Johan Le Roux. Although an official investigation being conducted, it is alleged that the one truck did a U-Turn on the highway and the other truck smashed into it. The driver of this truck was killed. His name is Amor Nero from Imperial Cargo.

N3 crash: The scene on the N3 when two trucks and a light motor vehicle collided resulting in multiple deaths.

N3 crash: The scene on the N3 when two trucks and a light motor vehicle collided resulting in multiple deaths.

The second – on the N3 – involved two trucks and a light motor vehicle. Both truck drivers died and one person in the light motor vehicle was killed. Here again, it was a horror scene with both trucks catching alight and the car being trapped in among the two trucks.

The third, which happened last night on the N17 near the Osborn off-ramp, saw one truck carrying logs ploughing into a number of stationary cars and trucks which were backed up due to an earlier accident. It was reminiscent of the Alberton crash some years ago on the N17.

Then this morning, another two trucks were involved in a horror crash near Montrose on the N3 when one truck slammed into the back of another. Both the driver and his assistant in the rear truck were critically injured. And there have been others.

On the scene of last night’s crash was Rob Fisher, a long time proud and professional driver for Time Link Cargo who I was speaking to from the scene. Here’s how he describes it:

“The traffic was backed up due to an early accident and while we were waiting, the Eagle carrying logs came down the hill from the tollgate towards Osborn off ramp and just couldn’t stop. It was so close. I heard him blowing his hooter – no airhorn as he no doubt had no air in the tanks. I looked right and just saw carnage as he ploughed through the stationary vehicles.”

Click here to see a video of the incident taken from Rob’s dashcam in the cab.

When everything came to a halt, a total of 11 vehicles were involved. Luckily, Rob’s beautiful Scania – his pride and joy – was just missed. He got out his truck and started helping where he could.

A priority was a blue Peugeot 206 which was crushed between two trucks with a lady wearing a seat-belt trapped in her seat. Rob says they cut the belt and got her out. She walked a little way and then fainted. But she was OK. A miracle when one looks at the picture of the car featured here.

While helping where he could, he and a few others saw the driver of the Eagle trying to make a run for it – but they caught him. According to Rob, many people wanted to “take him out” and Rob ended up protecting him from the crowd. “He was truly rattled and had a deep knowledge of what he had just caused. Enough pain for one night I thought,” said Rob.

When everything was cleared and settled, Rob drove on to his offload point where he off-loaded, had a power nap and then later headed off for Cape Town. His last words to me before we both hit the sack were:

“I’m not an extremely religious person although I do try to lead a good life – as well as live to some codes. But this evening, there truly was a protective hand held over us all. Considering the severity of the crash and the number of vehicles involved, for everyone to come out with only a few cuts and bruises, tells me that. Thanks for hearing me out on this one. It truly was not lekker.”

No, they never are lekker. Crash scenes are horrible places to be and we salute you Rob for the help you gave to those who needed help and for protecting the driver of that rig who was well aware of the carnage caused. As you reckoned by protecting him: “Enough pain for one night.”

Luckily for those in that crash, the pain is short lived. No-one died. The pain from the other crashes, however, will last a lifetime. Just this morning, I heard that the youngster who was killed in the car on the N3 is a friend of my daughter’s boyfriend. They were at varsity together. The pain of his death will last forever with his family as will the pain last for the families of the two truck drivers who were killed in the same incident – as well as for Amor Nero’s family.

FleetWatch extends its sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed in these crashes. We are so very very sorry. May they Rest in Peace.

To everyone on the roads this weekend, please take care.

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