Port Alfred road safety markings and security during this year’s New Year’s Day celebrations have been thrown into the spotlight after a car traveling down Van der Riet Street in Port Alfred landed in the Kowie River.
Bystanders reported that there were three adults and one infant in the car. The dark Audi sedan had apparently been going the wrong way on route to Grahamstown.
All occupants escaped without major injuries but would be taken to the local hospital to be checked.
Police and emergency personnel were quick to reach the scene.
Fortunately, the tide was low so the car landed on the dry stone river bed, averting tragedy.
Tow truck operators on the scene, however, said would that they would be unable to recover the car in the dark night and would have to wait until morning, so the car will likely suffer additional damage as the tide rolls in.
Van der Riet Street ends in gravel that runs all the way to the stone river bank, with no clear signage indicating the danger ahead or that the road has ended.
New Year’s Day revelry has spread across much of town with partygoers encamped along the beaches, at the krantz, around the Duck Pond and at the park area adjacent the public library, and revellers everywhere in between.
This is a breaking story, updates to follow.