Six killed in gruesome crash near Thornhill

IN PIECES: Six people died when this Ford Bantam bakkie left the road and hit a tree yesterday. Picture: EUGENE COETZEE
IN PIECES: Six people died when this Ford Bantam bakkie left the road and hit a tree yesterday. Picture: EUGENE COETZEE

A FUN afternoon drive ended tragically yesterday when six people died and three were injured in a road accident near Thornhill.

Police spokeswoman Lieutenant Gerda Swart said the driver of a white Ford Bantam bakkie had lost control of the vehicle on the R102, about 3km from the Hankey-Patensie turnoff, at about 3.50pm.

“The vehicle swerved off the road and crashed into the bushes,” she said.

The bodies were still being recovered from the mangled wreck, which was not visible from the road, hours later.

Skid marks nearly 100m long led from the road to where the vehicle overturned and crashed into the bushes.

The light delivery vehicle was severely buckled, with the front seats fully exposed.

The roof was ripped off, and pieces of the fibreglass canopy littered the area.

Personal belongings were scattered around, including several children’s backpacks.

A bystander, who did not want to give his name, said the driver was a farm contract worker.

Nelson Mandela Bay Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operations manager Ashwell Botha said six people had died at the scene, two others were in a critical condition and a third had minor injuries.

“A male victim with serious injuries was airlifted to Livingstone Hospital, while the driver was taken by private ambulance to Livingstone.

“Both are in a serious but stable condition,” he said.

A third man was taken to a hospital in Humansdorp.

The victims’ names could not be given until the next of kin had been notified.

“The victims are believed to be between 18 and 40 years old,” Swart said.

They were all believed to be from the Thornhill area.

Police are investigating a case of culpable homicide.

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