The driver of a sports utility vehicle was seriously injured after the vehicle literally took off from a parking bay on the Port Elizabeth beachfront early yesterday, smashing through a guardrail before landing metres below on Denville Beach.
The accident, which according to emergency workers took place at 1.43am in Beach Road, opposite the Dolphin’s Leap centre, involved the driver of the vehicle and three passengers, all of whom were women.
The passengers in the Toyota Rav 4, which has an automatic transmission, incurred slight injuries. Two of the women were treated at Greenacres Hospital, while the other two were treated at Livingston Hospital.
Metro police said alcohol abuse was not suspected to have played a role in the incident.
The driver is believed to have been attempting to reverse the vehicle when it moved forward.
This was confirmed by metro police chief Yolanda Faro.
“[This] resulted in the vehicle going through the railing onto the sand,” Faro said.
The identities of the driver and passengers were not released yesterday.
Phillip Wolfsburg of Precision Towing, which removed the vehicle from the beach, estimated it had fallen at least six metres.
A 27-ton rig was used to hoist the vehicle off the beach and back on to the road. “The vehicle seems to be a write-off,” he said.
By hoisting the vehicle, further damage to the wall on which the guardrails had been positioned had been avoided.