Maverick Citizen


Fifteen people crushed to death in taxi by truck trailer in Karoo smash, 5 killed in Cape Town road accident

Fifteen people crushed to death in taxi by truck trailer in Karoo smash, 5 killed in Cape Town road accident
The aftermath of the minibus taxi crash in Eastern Cape, which left 15 people dead. (Photo: Supplied)

On Monday morning, police and traffic authorities confirmed that the taxi driver and two infants were among those killed when a truck trailer fell on the vehicle after the driver swerved to avoid an animal on the road. The accident happened late on Sunday night on the N9/N10 near Middelburg in the Eastern Cape. The passengers were all on their way home after attending a funeral in Tsolo. In Cape Town, five people were declared dead at the scene of a crash involving a taxi in Belhar.

Fifteen people, including two infants, were crushed to death by a truck trailer in a horror accident on the N9/N10 near Middelburg in the Eastern Cape on Sunday night.

It is understood that the passengers were returning home after attending a funeral in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape. 

Eastern Cape Department of Transport spokesperson Unathi Binqose said nobody in the taxi survived the accident. 

“This was a freak accident,” he said adding that “everything that could go wrong did go wrong”.

The crumpled wreckage of the taxi following the crash near Middelburg in the Eastern Cape. (Photo: Supplied)

“It is alleged that a heavy-duty truck hit a stray animal and the driver lost control of the vehicle. As the driver was trying it regain control, its trailer fell over, right at the moment that a fully loaded taxi was driving parallel to it, in the opposite direction. The taxi was completely crushed by the vehicle.

“The minibus taxi was travelling from the Eastern Cape to Western Cape  while the truck was going in the opposite direction. The trailer crashed the taxi killing everybody inside it,” Binqose said.

Middleburg taxi crash

The overturned trailer of the truck that is alleged to have caused the accident. (Photo: Supplied)

Nine women, four men, including the driver, and two children (2 years and 2 months) died in the accident.

Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Nomthetheleli Mene has expressed her condolences to the families of the 15 victims.

Middleburg taxi crash

The horror minibus taxi crash claimed the lives of 15 people, including two infants. (Photo: Supplied)

“The loss of loved ones in such a sudden and tragic manner is truly devastating, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families as they navigate through this unimaginable grief,” Mene said.

A case of culpable homicide has been opened. The truck driver only sustained a few minor injuries. 

“It is alleged that at about 21:00, a truck was travelling from Graaff Reinet and a minibus driving in the opposite direction. It is further alleged that the truck lost control and the trailer collapsed onto the oncoming minibus. All 15 passengers in the minibus including two infants, died,” the police said in a statement this morning. DM

Five die, 10 injured in Belhar

Tragedy struck in Belhar, Cape Town, on Sunday morning when a collision between a Quantum taxi and a Golden Arrow bus claimed the lives of five people, Jim Mohlala reports.

The crash occurred at about 07.20am at the intersection of Sonata Way and Symphony Way, sparking a thorough investigation by the Belhar police into what is now being treated as a culpable homicide case.

According to preliminary reports, the white Quantum taxi, which had came from Delft, was travelling along Sonata Way when it reportedly disregarded a red traffic light and collided with the Golden Arrow bus, which was travelling on Symphony Way in the direction of Stellenbosch arterial. 

The SAPS Accident Response Unit rushed to the scene.

Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk confirmed that among the deceased were three males and two females, all aged between 25 and 40. 

Ten people, whose conditions ranged from minor to severe, were transported to nearby hospitals for urgent medical treatment.

In response to queries from Daily Maverick, Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said that “our thoughts and prayers are with all of the families who have been affected by this terrible tragedy”.

Preliminary investigations had shown that the bus driver was not at fault, though in terms of internal protocols, the bus driver had been suspended as a precautionary measure, said Dyke-Beyer. 

The Belhar police are investigating. No arrests had yet been made.

This article was updated at 5.30pm on 3 July 2023 to include the Cape Town horror taxi crash.

Middleburg taxi crash

The wreckage of the taxi in the aftermath of the crash. (Photo: Supplied)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Peter Tuffin says:

    Actually, although the immediate cause is “freak accident”, the real cause is that the rail network has been destroyed by mismanagement and theft. It is because of the lack of a functioning railway system that our national roads are taken over by trucks and minibus taxis.

    • Nina Vass says:

      Sadly, absolutely spot on. What a tragedy.

    • John Millar says:

      Agreed 100%. When he made the keynote speech at the opening of the ANC’s Western Cape conference recently, Mr Mbalula was at pains to explain that national government will not devolve the responsibility for passenger rail transport to provinces…

  • Gerrit Marais says:

    The total disregard for the rules of the road and the complete absence enforcement are also invariably at the root of these accidents.

    • Sue Malcomess says:

      Unfortunately it is now dangerous to drive in rural areas at night. It seems that farm fencing is no longer a necessity so the danger of animals on the road is great.

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