Mayor asked to probe taxis speeding on stretch of road where death crash occurred
Family and friends of a Port Elizabeth mother of two who died in a horrific collision in Salsoneville yesterday morning are devastated by the senseless loss.
The collision has once again raised concerns about safety on the stretch of road between Cleary Park and Booysen Park in the northern areas.
Deryn Booth, 39, died at the scene of the accident on the corner of Stanford and Marock roads.
The Peugeot she was travelling in with her husband, Fabian, and son Joshua, 10, was in a collision with a white Toyota Quantum taxi shortly before 8am.
Fabian, Joshua and an undisclosed number of other commuters were injured in the crash. This comes as it emerged that a northern areas resident had written to mayor Athol Trollip’s office just two weeks ago, requesting urgent intervention from the municipality and a clampdown on speeding taxis on the stretch of road.
Deryn’s father, Gavin Ludick, said the family was grief-stricken. “She was very religious, a staunch Catholic and a very soft person who cared about others,” he said.
“She was my eldest daughter and the rest of the family is not taking this well. Everyone, her baby sister, we cannot believe this.” Ludick said Deryn and her husband were driving Joshua to Triomf Primary in Salsoneville.
He said they also had a teenage son, Jarrod. “Joshua is fine and has been discharged from hospital. Fabian is still in hospital in a stable condition,” Ludick said.
Deryn’s shocked colleagues, Petro Behr and Celeste Dorfling, said they were alerted to the crash after a client called Deryn’s cellphone and someone at the accident scene answered.
“We went straight to the crash scene after getting the call. She [Deryn] was an incredible person who went out of her way for others,” Dorfling said. “It feels as if a family member has died.”
Police spokesman Captain Johan Rheeder said it was not clear how many people had been injured.
He said the Peugeot was turning right into Marock from Stanford Road while the taxi was travelling from Cleary Park in the direction of Bethelsdorp.
Police are investigating a case of culpable homicide. Meanwhile, the Aspen Heights resident who sent an e-mail to the municipality regarding safety concerns in Stanford Road, said he used it daily and had been concerned about the conduct of taxi drivers. He did not want to be named for fear of intimidation.
“These taxis do not have any respect for the rules of the road. They do not have respect for other motorists,” he said.
He said he had written an e-mail to Trollip’s office on June 8 saying it was becoming more and more dangerous to travel on Stanford Road between Booysen Park and Cleary Park.
“They have now gone so far [as] to travel on the opposite side of the road on the Bethelsdorp bridge, which is a death trap,” the e-mail said.
In response to the e-mail, Pat Gounder, acting deputy director of operations at traffic and licensing services, wrote to colleagues requesting an investigation and for strict law enforcement.
Safety and security political head, councillor John Best, said the municipality received hundreds of requests for law and traffic enforcement.
“When we receive these requests we forward them to the traffic department and officers are sent out,” he said “However, we cannot police the same stretch of road every day when we are getting numerous other requests.”