Road accidents claim 20 lives over Heritage weekend

Crashes near Peddie and Cathcart claimed six lives, with a total of 20 people dying on the province’s roads over the Heritage Day Weekend. Pedestrians (9) accounted for nearly half of the number.

Nine pedestrians were knocked over by vehicles in East London, Butterworth, Dutywa, Ngqamakhwe, Humansdorp, Bhisho, Aliwal North and Cala, Department of Transport spokesperson Unathi Binqose said. Two of these were hit-and-run ioncidents.

Two separate crashes on Saturday, one in Cathcart and the other in Peddie accounted for six lives, Binqose said.

Around 2am in Cathcart, an SUV and a minibus taxi collided head-on. Three people in the minibus died on the scene and six sustained severe injuries.

Hours later, on the N2 outside Peddie the driver of a VW polo travelling towards Makhanda lost control of the vehicle near Nompumelelo Hospital. There were four people in the car, believed to be relatives from a family gathering in Qonce.

“The driver lost control of the vehicle, and three occupants died on the scene,” Binqose said.

“Human error and the use of alcohol on the road has been cited as the major contributing factors to these crashes,” Binqose said. “Culpable homicide cases have been opened.”