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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

N3 reopened after a 41-vehicle pile-up crash near Hilton that left 5 dead

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The N3 has been reopened after being closed for eight hours on the northbound carriageway between Hilton and Cedara following a fatal multi-vehicle crash yesterday evening.

At least 40 vehicles including mini-buses and trucks were involved in the crash, causing major traffic congestion and authorities were forced to close the highway for about eight hours.

The death toll currently stands at five, with several people also injured and transported to hospital.

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KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu says, “N3 Hilton is now open to traffic following a road closure due to an accident that happened yesterday. There was a huge backlog of traffic that led to traffic being diverted to the R103. We opened the road at about 23h50, however, we still have a trucker’s lane that is closed to traffic due to diesel spillage.”

The crash happened as holidaymakers made their way out of KwaZulu-Natal after the Easter long weekend.

The road was reopened at 23h50 after emergency personnel had removed the injured and the scene cleared.

During the hours-long traffic chaos, the Durban-bound side was also closed for recovery efforts, and vehicles were diverted.

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The accident is believed to have occurred amid thick misty conditions which drastically reduced visibility.

Initial reports suggested that there was two pile-up crashes with one being a secondary crash, however, this could not be immediately confirmed.

The cause of the crash is still being investigated.

Responding to the tragedy the uMngeni Municipality made the Hilton Town Hall available to motorists on the N3 who needed a place to stay or rest.

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“Hot meals, blankets and matteresses will be provided as well as any other assistance required by those who need to leave the freeway or need help,” Mayor Chris Pappas said in a message last night.

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