Paul Nyathi|An entire Zimbabwean family and members of a Kwazulu Natal family were all killed in horrific head-on collision shortly after 10pm on Saturday night (October 12) just outside Ladysmith, KZN in South Africa.
The collision, between a Porsche SUV and a Fortuner SUV, took place on a bend and caused one of the vehicles (the Porsche) to burst into flames.
All four occupants in the Porsche were burnt beyond recognition, causing delays in removing the bodies.
Emergency services responding to the scene included Ladysmith Public Safety, Ladysmith Fire Brigade, SAPS, RTI, KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services (KZN EMS) and mortuary services.
The occupants of the Fortuner included two young children as young as five years old.
The bodies were cut free using the jaws-of-life.
The names of the Zimbabwean family and the South Africans have since been released.
South African police released a media statement on Tuesday saying that the Zimbabwean family had been identified as: Tonderai Godfrey Sithole (38) – Driver, Faith Sithole – Wife (36), Shalom Sithole – Female (10), Shekinah Sithole – Female (5).
The names of the South Africans were: Dheeraj Sureshchand Singh – Driver (41), Ronithah Singh – Wife (40), Suman Singh – Male (21) and Sanjana Singh – Female (16)
Ward councillor Zakhele Myende said the area where the accident occurred was notorious for speeding vehicles.
They had had roadblocks to try to address the issue. “We don’t often have such accidents, but are aware of the issue of cars speeding at the spot where the accident happened.
“There are a lot of trucks going in and out of Ladysmith towards Newcastle, and motorists often speed to try to overtake these trucks. We have reports that there are lots of speeding tickets issued on that part of the road,” he said.
Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Bheki Ntuli said he was saddened at the continued loss of life and extended his condolences to the families of the dead. He pledged the support of the department.
“I’m deeply saddened at the continued loss of lives, particularly as we just laid to rest six people who died in another accident last week in Peacevale.
“What is most worrying is that it seems as though motorists are not adhering to our road rules and speed limits, which in the main is leading to these accidents.
“I’ll be meeting Road Traffic Inspectorate officials to see how we can increase our visibility particularly in the hot spots over the weekend. We’ll also continue using our October Transport Month programmes to preach road safety ,” said Ntuli.
Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala said circumstances surrounding the incident were being investigated.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport is assisting the relatives of two families with the bereavement. Traffic officials worked around the clock with the assistance of SAPS to find out who the owner of the Porsche is as the car had no registration.
“Losing an entire family in just one accident is such a great tragedy. In this particular accident we have lost two families. We once again extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and our officials will continue supporting the families as the make arrangements to bury their loved ones,” said Ntuli.
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