Children thrown from bakkie in highway crash, three die

Three children died and four were seriously injured when the bakkie taking them to school crashed through bridge railings on to another road in Centurion on Wednesday.

The children were thrown from the vehicle as it plummeted eight metres from the R55 on to the N14 below, said police and emergency workers.

The Nissan Navara was travelling on the R55 to Laudium when it clipped a Toyota Corolla joining the road from the N14, said Captain Tessa Jansen.

The driver lost control of the double-cab bakkie and it careened 80m down the road before hitting the bridge railing, said Netcare 911 spokesperson Mark Stokoe.

On impact, one of the children was thrown from the vehicle, said Jansen, adding that police found the boy’s body on the R55. Two others were thrown out on the N14, which was 8,1m below the bridge, she said.

All the children were believed to be about six years old, although this could not be confirmed.

Jansen said a girl in the vehicle was so seriously hurt she had to be airlifted to the Steve Biko Academic Hospital.

Another girl, two boys and the driver of the bakkie were taken to the Kalafong Hospital, she said.

She said the children’s parents were aware of what had happened and had visited the hospitals and the mortuaries. However, police were giving them time to get over the shock before questioning them.

She said the children were pupils at the Hillside Primary School in Laudium, Jacaranda Primary School in Laudium, and the Valhalla School in Wierdabrug.

The four occupants of the other car were not injured.

Meanwhile, four school pupils were rushed to hospital on Wednesday after a bakkie ploughed through Howick’s Carolina Secondary School fence and hit them, KwaZulu-Natal paramedics said.

ER24 spokesperson Derrick Banks said the pupils were playing in the school yard when the bakkie lost control in wet weather and crashed through the fence.

“Two children were seriously injured and taken to Grey’s Hospital, while another two were taken to Howick Private Hospital.”

The driver of the bakkie was uninjured.

It was not immediately known if the driver was charged.—Sapa


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