A man was killed and his wife seriously injured in a freak accident on the N3 near Harrismith on Thursday.
The couple’s car was being towed using a rope and when it snapped the car veered onto the path of a truck from the opposite direction and they collided.
Ashveer Roopnarain, 35, and his wife Charlene, 32, from Chatsworth, were travelling back to Johannesburg after the holidays when their car broke down.
The couple called a tow truck company and then informed their families of what had happened.
According to Kishore Harichund, Charlene’s father, the tow truck operator arrived at the scene and wanted to tow the car using a Toyota Fortuner, an SUV.
“Using a rope, the operator towed the vehicle. Ashveer and Charlene opted to stay in their vehicle while it was being towed. However, minutes later the rope snapped and their vehicle veered across the road where it was hit by an oncoming truck.”
Ashveer died at the scene while Charlene, who sustained severe head injuries, was rushed by ambulance to hospital. She is in a stable condition at the Busamed Harrismith Private Hospital, but she is unable to remember the incident at this stage.
Harichund said he was staying with his wife Molly at a B&B in Harrismith to be close to Charlene.
“Our families are traumatised. Ashveer was a helpful and wonderful person. We only told Charlene on Sunday that Ashveer was dead. She’s devastated.
“We held a funeral service for Ashveer on Saturday but we postponed the cremation until Charlene’s condition improves. We wanted her to be able to say goodbye to him. Ashveer’s body is now being kept at a funeral parlour.”
Ettienne Pel, the chairperson of United Towing Association of SA, said the organisation was aware of the incident and had launched an investigation.
“We are working with the authorities to regulate the towing industry in order to avoid incidents like this.
“Our condolences go out to the family.”
Ashveer’s family declined to comment.
Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Sam Makhele said a case of culpable homicide was being investigated by Harrismith police.