Four people died and 12 were injured in a late night accident involving a Toyota Avanza and an Algoa Bus on Tuesday.
The bus also crashed into the Uitenhage Traffic Department, causing damage worth about R150 000.
The accident happened at about 11.10pm on Tuesday when, police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Gerda Swart said, the Avanza allegedly ignored a stop street at the Cuyler and Mitchell streets intersection.
Swart said the bus, travelling to KwaNobuhle, crashed into the right side of the Avanza, instantly killing three passengers.
The fourth person died on the way to Uitenhage Provincial Hospital.
The dead have not yet been identified.
The bus only came to a stop after 70 metres, flattening two public telephones and four traffic signs. The traffic department’s administrative offices were also destroyed.
KwaNobuhle resident Nonkululeko Gatya, 52, was the only one of the 12 Algoa Bus passengers admitted overnight after being badly battered and bruised in what she described as “a rollercoaster of death”.
“I really thought we were going to die. The accident was definitely the Avanza’s fault. He jumped the stop street seconds before the bus hit him,” the mother of two said.
“I was sitting in the second row talking to another lady when I heard the bus driver scream s**t! He tried to swerve to avoid the Avanza but it was too late. I remember the screaming and people crying. When I looked up I saw we were heading for the traffic department and then I thought we are all going to die.”
Algoa Bus Company chief executive officer Sicelo Duze said the bus involved sustained major damage to the front end and would be out of use until further notice.
“Whether we will be compensating passengers for medical costs is an issue decided by our insurance. The driver physically is fine, having just a few scratches. But we have given him time off and booked him for psychological treatment to deal with the emotional trauma,” Duze said.
Swart said one case had been opened with four counts of culpable homicide being investigated.
– Tremaine van Aardt