Monday, March 16, 2009

South African Tow Truck Driver Seriously Injured In Crash

Here's the Independent Online story:

By Thandi Skade

A tow-truck driver is fighting for his life after a head-on collision with a 20-ton brick-carrying truck in Douglasdale, north of Johannesburg.

The drama unfolded at 9.20am on Thursday on Douglas Road when an A1 tow truck driver - speeding to an accident scene - drove on the wrong side of the road and crashed into the truck.

Joburg metro police spokesperson Inspector Edna Mamonyane said the truck driver then lost control of his vehicle, colliding head on with a Toyota Yaris before he plunged through a boundary wall of a property.

ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said: "Paramedics from ER24 that arrived first found a chaotic scene covered with bricks that were flung from the truck during the collision. The tow truck driver was found barely breathing trapped partially under his vehicle."
The tow truck driver was trapped in his wrangled vehicle for almost an hour before firefighters managed to free him using the jaws-of-life.

He was in a critical condition and placed on life support on the scene before being rushed to Sandton Medi-Clinic for further medical treatment.

The Yaris driver was in a critical condition after he sustained chest and neck injuries.

The truck driver, who sustained a fracture to his arm, and his passenger, who was treated for neck and back injuries, were in a stable condition.

Douglas Road was closed to traffic in both directions on Thursday morning while a bulldozer was used to remove the piles of bricks along the road.

Mamonyane slammed the tow truck driver's reckless driving, saying: "He did exactly what we're trying to curb in the CBD... If he wanted to kill himself, he should have done so some place else where no other person would get hurt," she said.

A case of reckless and negligent driving against the tow truck driver is being investigated, Mamonyane said.

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