Lorry driver held for drunken driving

A tipper lorry driver who crashed his vehicle into a KwaZulu-Natal school on Wednesday has been arrested, police said on Thursday.

KwaMashu police spokesperson Constable Siwe Nxumalo said the man faced charges of reckless and negligent driving, and drunken driving.

“Fifteen pupils were injured—nine with minor injuries and six with serious injuries,” she said.

The incident took place before 9am at Lindelani’s Umtapho High School, north of Durban, when many matriculants had started writing their exams.

Bhengu Mxolisi (18) a pupil writing his maths examination, said on Tuesday : “I didn’t think it was this ... We just heard the sound and then we heard learners screaming. And when I looked out the window—they were stoning the driver of the lorry.”

He said there was nothing he could do, because he had to continue writing his paper.

Fellow matriculant Sibonella Mgiba said: “I first thought the learners were fighting amongst each other.
I didn’t think a truck would hit the school.”

Police officers said the lorry had apparently been travelling from an adjacent piece of land where an excavation was taking place, when it ploughed into a classroom at the school.

Police at the scene said they suspected the driver had blacked out due to low blood sugar, but paramedics could not confirm this.

Nxumalo said even if the driver had a blackout, he had been “drunk at the time”.

“He was tested and police found alcohol in his blood,” she said.

The man was expected to appear in the Ntuzuma magistrate’s court on Thursday, police said. - Sapa

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