One person was killed and two others critically injured when a side tipper truck crashed into a house on Old Howick Road, Pietermaritzburg, on Wednesday.
KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Roland Robertson said when paramedics arrived on the scene they found a truck had smashed through multiple properties and parked vehicles before it came to a stop.
The truck driver and his passenger were found trapped in the vehicle.
“Advanced life support paramedics, with rescue workers, accessed a patient using special rescue equipment,” said Robertson.
The passenger sustained fatal injuries and was declared dead on the scene by paramedics, while the driver was in critical condition and was treated by advanced life support paramedics.
“Once extricated, the patient was transported to hospital for further care,” said Robertson.
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A representative of the truck company Luvovo Enterprises, Constance Magwalala, told TimesLIVE that an employee from Eswatini had died.
It was unclear where the third occupant had come from as they were not in the employ of the company.
“I had also given them a location where they were going. I don’t know why they made a detour on to this road,” said Magwalala.
While the accident would be investigated, it appeared the truck was travelling at high speed.
Ward councillor Reggie Khanyile said trucks venturing into residential areas was a big concern in the city. While the property was destroyed, they were relieved nobody in the house was injured.
“The property the truck crashed into has two families who are tenants. A helper and a four-year-old child were unscathed,” he said.
“There is no law enforcement on this road. These trucks not only destroy roads but also place the lives of residents at risk.”
Drivers bypassed the highway by driving onto residential roads, which was worsened by protracted roadworks on the N3, said Khanyile.
“We set up a meeting with role players which included the Road Traffic Inspectorate, uMngeni traffic [department] and Msunduzi [municipality]. But Msunduzi had not come to the party,” he said.
He had noted most vehicles, including trucks, tended to divert onto residential roads, which included Howick Road and Montgomery Drive.
Town Hill community policing forum chairperson Brett Teichmann shared the concerns raised by Khanyile. He said a group of residents had taken its upon themselves to flag trucks bypassing the N3 on residential roads.
“It created a burden for residents who had to do it themselves.”
Msunduzi municipality spokesperson Ntobeko Mkhize has yet to respond to Khanyile’s allegations.