A trust has been established to help the families of those killed and injured in a horror crash between a truck and taxi near Melkbosstrand last week.
Melkbosstrand residents Karen Dreyer and Fraser Gregg are behind the initiative. Ms Dreyer is also part of the Melkbosstrand Community Police Forum.
“What we noticed was that there were those who cannot survive without their injured or deceased breadwinners that were involved in that accident,” she said.
Provincial SAPS spokesman Captain FC Van Wyk said eight people were now confirmed dead from the crash – one more death than the number reported last week (“Seven killed in horror crash between taxi and truck near Melkbosstrand,” Tabletalk, June 9).
“Six passengers of the taxi died on the scene and the truck driver died on the scene. One passenger of the taxi died in the ambulance on the way to hospital. Nine people were initially hospitalised and taken to four different hospitals,” he said, adding that two of them had since been discharged, including the taxi driver, while seven remained in hospital.
Captain Van Wyk added that a culpable homicide investigation was ongoing and that no one had been charged yet.
According to Ms Dreyer, four of the dead were Malawians, three were South Africans and one was Zimbabwean, and all their families have been notified.
“All the victims in the taxi were from Dunoon,” she said.
Dunoon Taxi Association secretary-general Frank Qotyiwe said they would issue a full statement once they received the accident report.
“We don’t want to assume anything at this stage until we get that report. But, of course, as taxis, were are always looked at as the guilty party and that our members don’t always follow the rules of the road. We’ve seen the images of the crash and it seems like the truck hit the taxi and because the truck was carrying a heavy load, it tipped over and made the accident more severe,” he said.
The taxi driver had avoided critical injury but was not back on the road, he said.
“We are waiting for investigations to be completed before we make any decisions regarding the driver and our operations going forward.”
Smokie la Grange, chairwoman of Melkbosstrand Ratepayers’ Association said the speed limit on the R27 should be a consistent 80km/h instead of 120km/h and 100km/h in parts.
“The experience last week left a lot traumatised – family members, volunteers from community medics and neighbourhood watches and SAPS. We need to avoid accidents like this from happening.”
Ms Dreyer said all money collected by the Melkbos Trust, which has been opened with STBB Attorneys Blouberg, would go to the victims’ families. By Tuesday, R21 000 had been raised, she said, and the money would prioritise those needing to repatriate their relatives’ remains.
“We will keep the trust going, and all money left will be shared equally amongst the families of those that died and those that are injured,” she said.
Today, Wednesday June 16, Ms Dreyer and other Melkbosstrand residents will deliver grocery donations to the families in Dunoon.
Chloe Dippenaar, of STBB Attorneys, confirmed that a trust for the victims of the accident had been opened with their firm. The trustees are STBB Attorneys, Ms Dreyer and Mr Gregg.
Call Karen Dreyer at 082 415 5442 if you want to donate.