Yesterday, January Thursday 28th, was a horror day in terms of crashes involving trucks on South Africa’s roads.
It started in the early hours of the morning when two men were killed and two others injured after two trucks collided head-on on the N14, 30km outside of Upington, Northern Cape. ER24 paramedics, along with provincial services, arrived on the scene and found both trucks on the side of the road. The smaller truck of the two had sustained a heavy amount of damage in the collision.
On assessment, paramedics found that two men from the smaller truck had sustained fatal injuries. Unfortunately, nothing could be done for them and they were declared dead on the scene. Two other occupants were found to have sustained moderate injuries. They were treated for their injuries and then transported to a nearby hospital for further treatment. The driver of the large truck fortunately escaped without injury. Local authorities were on the scene for further investigations.
Later in the morning, another horror crash occurred in which three people were killed and nine others injured in a head-on collision between a truck and a taxi on the R28 near Vereeniging, on the borders of Westonaria.
ER24 paramedics, along with various services, responded to the scene to find the taxi completely smashed up against the front of the truck. Metro services closed off the road while paramedics and fire services assessed the scene. They found that three men had already succumbed to their injuries. Two of the deceased were found lying trapped inside the taxi while the third was lying outside the taxi. Nothing could be done for these patients and they were later declared dead on scene.
Nine other patients had injuries ranging from minor to critical. Some of these patients also lay trapped inside the wrecked taxi. Rescue workers had to use the jaws-of-life equipment to free them from the wreckage. Once freed, paramedics treated them and provided the critically injured patients with advanced life support interventions. One critically injured patient was airlifted by the ER24 helicopter while the second was airlifted by a private medical helicopter. The remaining patients were treated and transported to various hospitals in the area for further treatment. The cause of the collision is not yet known but local authorities were on scene for further investigations.
An unusual incident, thankfully with no deaths, occurred later in the afternoon where two people were injured after a train and truck collided on Military Road in Steenberg in the Western Cape.
ER24 paramedics responded to the scene and on arrival found a truck wedged up against a passenger train. The truck had been carrying light motor vehicles at the time of the collision. Paramedics found that the train driver as well as one passenger had sustained only minor injuries. Fortunately no other injuries were reported on the scene. Paramedics treated both patients and later transported the train driver to Mediclinic Constantia for further treatment. The driver of the truck fortunately did not sustain any injuries.
These are just three of the many crashes that took place yesterday in South Africa. There were others. For example, the five vehicle collision which occurred in Bloemfontein to which Netcare 911 paramedics responded. Six people were involved in the crash but luckily, only three sustained injuries ranging from serious to minor. One of the injured was a nine-month-old baby baby who was sitting on her mother’s lap when the airbag deployed.
Cry the Beloved Country. When will it ever end?