Andrew Turnbull ‘dicing with another car’ before fatal crash
A witness to the fatal car crash outside Port Alfred that claimed the lives of three people – including East London assault accused Andrew Turnbull – claims to have seen Turnbull’s Jaguar racing with another vehicle prior to the collision.
Former Selborne College pupil Ryan Byrne, 19, and an 87-year-old grandmother driving back to her retirement home in Kenton-on-Sea also died in the crash.
While Byrne, a passenger in the Jaguar, and grandmother Beulah Booysen, whose Mercedes collided head-on with Turnbull’s Jaguar, were killed instantly, Turnbull, 42, succumbed to his injuries in hospital overnight.
It is believed that Booysen had been visiting family in Port Alfred and was driving back to Kenton when the accident happened at about 2.30pm.
Booysen’s son, Murray, declined to comment.
But a witness, who asked not to be identified, claimed that a third car was involved in the lead-up to the crash.
The woman was travelling in a minibus taxi from Port Elizabeth to East London, when two cars raced past the taxi at high speed.
“We were about 10 to 15 minutes from Port Alfred when we saw the two cars passing us like they were racing,” she said.
“One was the Jaguar and the other one was a Mercedes [not Booysen’s], though I couldn’t say for sure what its colour was because the sun was shining brightly.
“There was a truck in front of us, and then the truck started to slow down.
“We were approaching a hill so we couldn’t see properly, but when we got over the hill we saw there was an accident.”
She said she saw a maroon car (Booysen’s Mercedes) and a long-distance bus, in which there were a number of teenage children.
At this point, the taxi driver had pulled off the road to see what was happening.
“I saw the white Jaguar. There was a big guy in the driver’s seat, but it looked like the car was going to catch fire.
“The driver’s door was completely off.
“I asked some of the guys around me to help pull out the guy, but then we also realised there was somebody else who was trapped in the car on the passenger side.
“We managed to pull him out as well.”
She said the “big guy” (Turnbull) was communicating by pointing to injured areas of his body, particularly his arm, “which looked broken”.
“All this time I was trying to call the emergency services, but eventually I gave the numbers to another lady who had arrived because my taxi wanted to leave again.
“I worried about the kids on the bus because they must have seen everything.
“Some of them were crying. I was also crying.
“I just hope the families can find comfort again.”
Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender said according to the bus driver, who had been travelling in the direction of Port Elizabeth on the R72 at the time, a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction had sideswiped the rear right of his vehicle when it passed him.He had then seen Turnbull’s Jaguar collide with Booysen’s Mercedes, which was travelling behind him.While there was speculation that Turnbull’s car was travelling at a high speed moments before the crash‚ Govender said the cause of the crash was still being investigated.A perusal of Turnbull’s Facebook page‚ however‚ reveals he loved speed and fast cars.In a video captured and posted on his timeline in 2018‚ a person behind the wheel‚ believed to be Turnbull‚ was filmed clocking speeds of almost 260km/h.“Nothing better than a vehicle that can safely cruise at decent speeds in comfort‚” the video is titled.Turnbull’s social media account is littered with pictures of him posing inside or outside fancy and fast vehicles, including the Jaguar. “Andrew, our only son and brother to Lindy, passed away in the early hours of this [Monday] morning in PE due to serious injuries from a car accident,” Turnbull’s mother, Martha, posted on Facebook in the early hours of Monday.“His friend, Ryan Byrne, died at the scene.“Please, I’m begging everyone to please give us time to mourn and to stop the horrible stuff that is being posted on FB. We are heartbroken.”Reactions to Turnbull’s death on social media ranged from sympathy for his family to callous comments.Byrne’s uncle, Craig, said the entire family was shocked by his death.“We are all absolutely shattered. I do not know the man he was travelling with [Turnbull] or even how he knows him,” he said.“I have heard about the speeding and rumours and I really just do not understand.“Ryan went to school in East London but moved to Port Elizabeth about a year or so go.“His family also live in Port Elizabeth.“I do not know where they were driving to.“I know that they had come from lunch at Guido’s [in Port Alfred] and that is about it.”Guido’s owner Toby van Tonder said that the two men had arrived at about midday and left at around 1.30pm.“They were here and I have checked the bill and asked the waitress, they did not have any alcohol,” he said.Craig said he did not know why his nephew was with Turnbull.“We just don’t know. I don’t know that guy and do not even known how he [Byrne] knows him,” he said.Old Selbornians’ Association executive director Alan Parsons confirmed that Byrne had been a pupil at Selborne College, matriculating in 2017.“Everyone is gobsmacked about what has happened.“Ryan was a decent, wellrounded pupil. It’s horrendous,” Parsons said.“Both the Old Selbornians’ Association and Selborne College send our condolences to his family.”Turnbull shot to notoriety after a video of him allegedly assaulting ex-girlfriend Chere Gray went viral.The footage, as well as several recorded telephone conversations between Turnbull and the woman’s ex-husband, were played when he appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court in October 2018.In the video, he is seen pinning Gray against a wall, then tossing her aside as the person filming the video pleads: “Andrew, please calm down.”He was out on R10,000 bail at the time of his death.In a Facebook post on Monday, Gray wrote: “There was once a time when I loved you with all of me.“Regardless of what has transpired, I forgave you a long time ago ... may you rest peacefully now.“Please respect Andrew’s family in their time of mourning. Goodbye Andrew.”Turnbull’s lawyer, Nardus Grove, did not answer calls or respond to messages for comment...
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