Workers hurled off bakkie in deadly crash

Two dead, seven injured as construction vehicle rolls

Two people were killed and seven others injured when a bakkie in which they were travelling veered off Chelsea Road and rolled on Monday morning.
The accident happened at about 7.25am when the bakkie, from Visagie Builders, was travelling from Theescombe into Chelsea Road in the suburb of Chelsea.
As the driver lost control, the bakkie rolled, leading to construction workers and gear flying off the back.
Emergency workers blocked the road while extracting the injured and loading them into ambulances.
The bakkie veered into the oncoming lane before colliding with the dense bush alongside the road, coming to a standstill on the opposite side of the road, facing the other direction from which it was travelling.
On the scene, the driver remained behind the steering wheel with the door jammed shut, waiting for rescue workers to free him.
Four workers lay scattered on the ground while their four colleagues, who were less seriously injured, tried to help them.
Medics and firefighters arrived within five minutes of the alarm being raised while neighbourhood watch members and onlookers stopped to assist.
Officials managed to pry the door open and remove the driver from the bakkie.
Visibly shocked workers said they were travelling to a construction site in Sardinia Bay when the accident happened.
“Four were on the back of the bakkie and four were in the front [excluding the driver].
“The next thing the bakkie just went off the road,” one of the workers, who did not give his name, said.
The driver of the vehicle, who looked dazed following the crash, said he was not sure how the accident had happened.
“I was driving and the next thing I just went off the road,” he said.
One unconscious worker’s leg was trapped under the driver’s side of the bakkie while another’s lifeless body lay about 6m from the wreck .
Medics, tow trucks and firefighters arrived about four minutes after the alarm was raised.
Nelson Mandela Bay EMS head and paramedic Ashwell Botha said one man was declared dead on arrival while a second died on the way to the hospital.
“Several attempts to resuscitate the patient in the back of the ambulance failed,” he said.
“On arrival at the hospital, he was declared dead.”
The seven survivors were taken to hospital.
Police spokesperson Captain Johan Rheeder said it appeared that brake failure led to the driver losing control and the vehicle rolling.
“At this stage it is subject to an investigation.
“Because there are fatalities, our accident response unit will be taking over the case,” he said.
Rheeder said the bakkie would be towed to the police pound for forensic experts to gather details to determine the cause of the crash.
A case of culpable homicide is under investigation.

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