Six vehicles, including an unfortunate timber truck, were involved in a fatal accident on the R40 in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, near the Riverside Mall on Friday. The truck was travelling from White River when the driver seemingly lost control of the vehicle.
In CCTV footage released yesterday, the truck can be seen plunging into the other vehicles before exploding off to the side.
A local publication reported that Moeti Mmusi, spokesperson for the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison, said the truck driver had been “burned beyond recognition” and died:
The other five people in the vehicles involved in the crash were injured, but survived. While many eyewitnesses say it looked like the driver had lost control of the breaks, hooting furiously as his vehicle came careening down the road, Mmusi said the cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Dean Martyn, who narrowly escaped being hit by the truck himself, had witnessed how it smashed into the vehicle in front of him, which was occupied by his wife, Adré, and their five-month-old baby. He said that a feeling of shock, horror and anger overwhelmed him as he saw the truck plough into her car. “We are lucky that they weren’t severely injured.”
Another eyewitness, who requested to remain anonymous, gave this account:
“The truck had come down the hill at an “unbelievable speed”, hooting, before hitting a minibus first and then some other vehicles that had just started pulling away when the traffic light had turned green. The truck then left the road, rolled over and exploded. It was engulfed in flames almost instantly. I just knew it was going to be bad. Some people were running towards the truck to assist the driver, but it exploded again. It exploded about four times, and I just stood there and cried,” said an eyewitness who wished to remain anonymous.