Five people were killed and six seriously injured in accidents on Eastern Cape roads this weekend.
Provincial Traffic Department deputy director Charles Bramwell said alcohol was suspected to have played a part in one of the accidents, as several empty alcohol bottles had allegedly been found scattered inside one of the cars involved.
At about 4.30am yesterday, a VW Polo and a Mercedes-Benz crashed on the R75 between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage.
“It is alleged that the VW Polo overtook the Mercedes-Benz near the KwaDwesi turn off and side-swiped the Mercedes-Benz,” Bramwell said.
“Both drivers lost control of the vehicles, which overturned.
“The VW Polo had four occupants – two died instantly and two were seriously injured.”
One of the injured passengers died later in hospital, bringing the number of deaths to three.
Bramwell said the three people in the Mercedes, including the driver, were taken to hospital with serious injuries.
“The officers on the scene suspected alcohol was a contributing factor as a number of empty alcohol bottles were found,” Bramwell said.
On Saturday, two people were killed and two seriously injured when a truck and bakkie collided on the R72 outside Alexandria at 7am.
Bramwell said a horse and trailer transporting rice was travelling towards Alexandria when it collided head-on with a Nissan Navara travelling in the opposite direction.
“Both the driver and passenger in the Navara were fatally injured,” he said.
“Their bodies were trapped in the wreckage and had to be freed with the jaws of life.
“The truck driver and a passenger were seriously injured and were taken to hospital.”
Police are investigating culpable homicide cases in both incidents.