Three schoolgirls killed, one seriously injured in Durban taxi accident
Three schoolgirls, aged between 13 and 14 years old, have died and one is fighting for her life after a taxi collided with them as they were walking to school on Wednesday morning, 6 March 2019. Rescue Care spokesman, Garrith Jamieson, said shortly after 7h15 paramedics were called to an “horrific” accident on Dumisane Makhanye Road, near the VN Naik School for the Deaf, in Newlands East. “On arrival paramedics were faced with absolute tragedy as a single taxi had collided with four teenage girls on their way to school, dragging them for some way. Unfortunately, three of the four had sustained some major injuries and there was nothing more paramedics could do for them and they were declared deceased at the scene.”
Jamieson said the fourth girl was in a critical condition and was receiving advanced life-care treatment by paramedics. She would be transported to hospital for further care once she was stabilised.
It was not clear as yet what happened to the minibus taxi driver. Several people at the scene said he fled while others said he went to the police station. The front windscreen and panels of the taxi were extensively damaged. The taxi was enroute to Pinetown.
The bodies of the three schoolgirls were spread across three lanes of the newly built highway. The first body lay on the right lane, a second a few hundred metres away in the centre lane and the third in a taxi bylane.
There were trails of blood near one of the bodies. There were scattered taxi parts and a shoe of one of the girls near the point of impact. Purple marks on the road from the police crime scene indicated that the taxi struck the teenager's on the pavement and then swerved onto the road.
An eyewitness collaborated this saying she saw the taxi strike the teenagers. "It happened so fast. I heard the bang and saw the bodies fly into the car, she said. Hundreds of onlookers gathered at the scene calling for justice to be served.
Ethekwini Ward 11 councillor Joyce Johnson said the girls attended Newlands East Secondary School. She said there were allegations that the taxi failed to stop at a red traffic light at the intersection but this will need to be investigated. "This is a tragic incident. The city has tried to make the intersection safe for both pedestrians and motorists. The children have to be identified by their parents," she said.
School pupils at Newlands East Secondary said they did not know the identities of those that died because they were warned not to go to the collision scene.
First-term examinations at the school have been put on hold in the wake of the deaths.
Source: Times Live