A POPULAR young student studying to be a primary school teacher was killed in a horror smash after an alleged drunk driver travelling on the wrong side of the M4 freeway in Port Elizabeth crashed head-on into her car early yesterday.
NMMU second-year student Jamie Baartzes, 19, who was on her way home to Sunridge Park, died while being treated by medics shortly after a BMW – allegedly travelling at high speed – collided with her Chevrolet Spark shortly before 1am.
Officials on the scene said the driver of the BMW, Amos Sinyanya, 28, was allegedly driving on the wrong side of the M4 towards Summerstrand at the time.
The crash occurred opposite the harbour, about 1km from the Walmer Boulevard intersection.
This is the second head-on-collision in Port Elizabeth in two weeks involving a car allegedly travelling on the wrong side of the road.
Baartzes, who was studying foundation phase teaching, was wearing pyjamas and, according to relatives, was on her way home from the university.
“She had been studying and doing research with a friend on campus and was on her way home,” a distraught relative said.
“We don’t want to talk about it at this stage.”
According to police on the scene, Sinyanya was coming from the direction of Central and mistakenly went up an off-ramp from Russell Road onto the M4 going towards Summerstrand.
One official said marks on the road suggested that Baartzes had tried to swerve out of the way of the approaching BMW, which had Gauteng number plates.
Sinyanya had been travelling with two passengers. Both were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed that the BMW had been travelling on the wrong side of the road.
She said Sinyanya was treated for his injuries while under police guard.
“He was arrested for drunk-driving and culpable homicide, and is currently in the Humewood police station cells.”
Both vehicles were impounded by police for investigation.
Sinyanya will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court today.
NMMU Education Faculty Foundation Phase head Deidre Geduld said the students in the faculty were saddened by the news.
“Jamie was a very creative and quiet student,” she said.
“She went to Collegiate at first but the family relocated to East London and she matriculated at Hudson Park High School.
“The family has since returned to Port Elizabeth. Her father is an attorney and her mother a policewoman.”
Relatives and friends posted messages of condolence on Baartzes’s Facebook page yesterday.
Keanu Baartzes, who appeared to be her brother, posted: “I will always love you.
“Here I am planning on surprising you with the bright yellow rabbit that daddy bought, but then you end up surprising the shizz out of me
“I just don’t know how I’m going to deal with the fact that I will never be able to see [you] again or hear that silly giggle of yours
Goodbye my twin.” Lineo Msimka said: “To the original Power Puff Girl! You were made out of sugar, spice and everything nice!
“You were the epitome of a delicate flower but were always ready to put your arms up and fight for me
“I loved you like a sister and hope you visit us in our dreams! Rest in peace Baby Girl!”
Nizaam Kafaar said: “You will always be my person. Words can’t express how I feel.
“Being woken up and told that you’re no longer with us, it hurts, it kills, it’s killing me.
“I hate that it had to be you. Bad things always happen to good people. But in the end God knows best right.”
Desre du Preez said: “My heart is in pieces, I don’t even know how to put [it] back together broken.
“You took a piece of me with you that I will never get back
“Gone too soon. The good die young. I miss you so much it hurts.
“I love you forever my Jamie. Even though you will never get a chance to see this, I know you’re looking down on me.”
The accident comes after a similar fatal crash two weeks ago in which Leon Fourie, 57, and Justin Enslin, 28, were killed in a head-on-smash on the N2 behind St Mark’s Church.
Fourie was driving a BMW and Enslin a Ford Ranger.
According to Naidu, the accident scene investigators are still attempting to establish which vehicle was travelling on the wrong side of the road in this case.