Durban – Three family members from Newcastle lost their lives after a multiple-vehicle pile-up on the N3 North between Hilton and Cedara on Monday, while the fourth member continues the fight for life in the hospital.
Ralph Francis, his wife Michelle, and his son Matthew were returning home after spending the Easter weekend in Durban. The three family members died at the scene.
The Citizen reported that the accident, which occurred on the N3 between Hilton and Cedara, involved 41 cars, claimed six lives, and left 78 people with injuries ranging from critical to minor.
Francis’ uncle Salis Marimuthu said he was in shock, IOL reported.
“At this stage, we still do not know how the accident happened. I’m still in shock. It’s difficult to anticipate justice for something we know nothing about,” Marimuthu was quoted as saying.
More than 40 people were confirmed to be involved in the accident and the KZN Department of Transport added that the investigation into the cause of the accident was continuing.
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Minister of Transport, Lydia Sindisiwe Chikunga expressed disappointment and displeasure at the high rate of crashes and fatalities that took place over the Easter weekend.
“The total number of fatal crashes this year is 185 resulting in 225 fatalities as opposed to the same period the previous year when we recorded 135 fatal crashes that resulted in 161 fatalities,” she said.
“The high number of road users who perished on our roads are pedestrians, who accounted for 44,4% of all fatalities, followed by passengers at 27,7%. Drivers accounted for 25.6%;cyclists at 1,3% while the road user status of 1% could not be determined,” Chikunga added.
“The highest number of fatalities occurred on Friday and the lowest number was recorded on Thursday. Most of the fatalities occurred at 15H00 and 22H00 and were predominantly characterised by hit and run crashes, single vehicle overturned, pedestrian collisions and head-on collisions.
“Human factors, which include reckless and negligent driving, was the most prominent contributing factor in all fatalities at 96,2 followed by road and environmental factors at 4.5% while vehicle factors were the least contributor at 1,1%.”
Compiled by Junaid Benjamin