Memorial service to be held for the 18 victims killed in accident

HECTORSPRUIT – A 22-year-old man died in an accident in the early hours of Thursday morning. He attended the Innibos festival on Wednesday night. He was driving a Suzuki Vitara from Mbombela to his work in Komatipoort when he was involved in a head-on collision with a truck on the N4 at around 05:20.

He was apparently killed instantly.

Ambulance services at the scene. Police are still investigating the cause of the accident. The driver of the truck that was involved in the accident which resulted in the death of 18 people near Machadodorp on Tuesday morning has been charged with culpable homicide.

The provincial Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison (DCSSL) said the truck was on the wrong side of the road when the head-on collision with a taxi occurred. Spokesman, Joseph Mabuza said police arrested Sebastian Macuacua the driver after his statement contradicted eye-witnesses accounts and the evidence found at the scene.

The mangled wreckage. The Mozambican national appeared in the Machadodorp Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

He was remanded in custody. His next appearance will be on July 10th. The truck collided with a minibus which was transporting Nkomati Mine employees to work on the R541 between Badplaas and Machadodorp.

Another bus, also transporting workers, hit the rear of the taxi. Sixteen people died at the scene. Two more were declared dead at Belfast Hospital.

ER24 branch manager, Greg Wilcox responded to the scene. He said it was horrific. “There must have been about 30 people involved in this accident. There were people trapped in both minibuses.

We found more bodies under the wreckage. That is why the death toll kept changing throughout the day. The Quantum minibus went right under the truck and the Mercedes minibus which was following, went into the back of the Quantum.

The accident scene where 18 people were killed.

LifeMed, Netcare911 and provincial emergency services also responded. Wilcox said the truck driver only had a slight scratch on his arm. A memorial service for the victims will take place today at the local stadium at Emthonjeni Township in Machadodorp.

DCSSL MEC, Pat Ngomane, the Road Traffic Management Corporation and mine management met with family members this week. Ngomane said it was important that the deceased be respected by their colleagues and people they were living with in the community. One of the victims was buried in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

“Six people from Machadodorp will be buried locally while the rest will be separately buried at their respective areas as they originated from other provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Free State,” the MEC said in a statement. The provincial government indicated that it would assist the bereaved families with counselling services, burial costs, transport and other logistic arrangements.

The accident which claimed the lives of 18 people. “We are also talking with mine management to develop an aftercare programme for the families of the victims of the crash so to empower them to face life courageously now that some of the breadwinners within the families are unable to provide,” Ngomane said.

The DA in Mpumalanga said the party’s eMakhazeni constituency youth leader, Michael Mncina was also injured in the crash. “We wish him and all victims who have sustained injuries a speedy recovery.

We offer our sincere condolences to the families of the victims.

Our thoughts and prayers will be with them in this difficult time,” DA MPL said in a statement.

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