Families of eight people who died in a road crash shattered

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The families of the eight people who died in a road crash on the R555 road near Steelpoort, outside Burgersfort in Limpopo on Thursday, say they are shattered. The transport department has cited possible negligence as the cause of the crash.

It’s alleged that the bus was overtaking at an unsafe spot when it hit the truck carrying workers. The crash that killed five men and three women between Ga-Malekane and Steelpoort, has left families in disbelief.

The victims were going to work at a local brick company in the early morning hours. It’s alleged the bus was overtaking another vehicle when it hit the truck on the side and overturned. Eight people died on the scene after being thrown off the truck.

Six other passengers from the truck and 16 from the bus were injured, including both drivers. They were taken to Dilokong Hospital, with minor to serious injuries. The relatives of those who were killed say they are shattered.

“I lost my daughter, Maria, in this accident. I was not expecting this. I had hope for her future prospects, but what can I do? What has happened has happened,” says Petros Malatji, the victim’s father.

“I am heartbroken by what happened. My sister lost her life so abruptly. She has left behind two children, and we don’t even know how we are going to fend for them,” says Caroline Malatji, the victim’s sister.

A community leader has called on the government to improve the state of the road, which he says has seen many fatal accidents.

“We request Sanral to at least improve our road R555 just like R37 to a four-lane road because maybe it will assist in terms of the traffic in the morning and afternoon when people go to work and after work,” says Jack Dikotope, Community leader.

The transport department says suspected negligence is the cause of the accident.

“Eight people were sadly killed in an accident involving a bus and a truck on road R555 near Steelpoort in Sekhukhune district. It is reported that the driver of the bus was overtaking when it collided sideswipe with the truck that was carrying workers to a nearby brick yard. The accident claimed lives of five men and three women who were in the truck. Twenty-one other occupants of the truck, including the driver are reported to have sustained varying levels of injuries. Reckless driving is cited as possible cause of the crash,” says Tidimalo Chuene, Limpopo transport department spokesperson.

The families of the victims have called on the municipality to assist with funeral arrangements.

Both Sekhukhune District Mayor Minah Bahula and Fetakgomo-Tubatse Mayor Eddie Maila have met with the deceased’s families to offer condolences and support.