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SA Roadlink Beaufort West crash

SA Roadlink bus which crashed outside Beaufort WestAt around 0720 on the morning of the 7th July 2009, an SA Roadlink coach bus crashed some 3km outside Beaufort West (Western Cape Province), resulting in the death of 7 people on the scene (including a child, 3 people with serious injuries were taken to Beaufort West Hospital). There were 59 people on board the bus. The bus was on its way from Johannesburg to Cape Town, and had stopped in Beaufort West to pick up a passenger before hitting the gravel side of the road 3km outside the town, and overturning. SA Roadlink has denied allegations that the driver fell asleep. The driver was not injured in the accident.

Unroadworthy bus sent to pick up survivors

The bus which SA Roadlink sent to pick up surviving passengers was found to be unroadworthy. At the municipal testing station it was found that there were problems "with the brakes, that the engine cap was not fitted properly, and the left headlamp was loose. This bus was pulled off the road because the driver did not adhere to the permit condition (that) it could travel only between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth."

Passengers

Three of the 7 passengers who died were Zimbabweans (Edwin Kanunda, 35, Aaron Gerrett Chibweza, 39, and Fidellis Bhidika, 27), 1 was from Lesotho (Richard Setosolo Sesinyi, 63) and 1 was from Congo (Congolese national Joseph Banzouzi, 21).

Witness report

"According to a witness report from a motorist who was travelling behind the bus, it seems that everything was normal when suddenly the bus swerved to the left and veered off the side of the road. At first he thought it may have swerved to avoid something in the road, but there was nothing there. We have also examined the tyres and wheels of the bus and there was no burst tyre or anything that appeared to have been the cause,"
Cape metro police spokesman Xenophone Wentzel.

Winesses contact numbers

Western Cape Police authorities have urged passing motorists & witnesses with information on the crash to contact Captain De Klerk on 0234148540 or 0823028326.

The SA Roadlink Press release

"On the morning of Tuesday 7 July 2009 at approximately 06h30, an SA Roadlink coach was involved in an accident just outside Beaufort West, en route to Cape Town from Johannesburg, having 2 drivers on board.

The coach driver stopped to pick up a passenger in Beaufort West. Approximately 3 kilometre’s further, the SA Roadlink coach driver decided to give way to a truck which was tailgating the coach. By this stage the coach driver had already proceeded to drive onto a piece of gravel road, thus causing the coach to overturn.

We reiterate that the driver did not fall asleep behind the wheel. All our drivers are highly experienced and taken for advanced driving skills and refresher courses, every 3 months.

All SA Roadlink coaches are subjected to stringent and accurate vehicle testing, prior to departure, so as to ensure 100% roadworthy vehicles to transport their passengers.

The safety of all our passengers, is our primary concern. We regret and our deepest sympathies are extended to the families of the deceased. We are likewise just as concerned about the passengers who have been injured and who are currently receiving medical attention.

There is no reason to suspect that this accident was as a result of anything more than an unfortunate event. We will keep the public informed of all further developments.

We have launched an extensive internal investigation surrounding this morning’s events.

For more information : Mapaseka Mashele
media@saroadlink.co.za
083-560-7777"

Decision to drive on gravel road

One must question the driver's decision to give way to the tailgating truck by driving on the gravel edge of the road - this seems to contradict the claim that the drivers are highly experienced, as well trained drivers should know that driving a coach onto a gravel road at high speed will make it unstable and difficult to control.

N1 closed

The accident resulted in the N1 National Road being closed for several hours.

Previous SA Roadlink incidents

6 Mar 2009

An SA Roadlink bus catches fire due to an electrical fault whilst travelling through the Umkomaas Valley (KwaZulu-Natal), and is burnt to a shell. Nobody was hurt.

16 Dec 2008

An SA Roadlink coach & a Toyota have a head-on collission in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa, near Hibberdene, 11 people die.

12 Dec 2008

Intercape's lawyers write a letter to the regulators saying that SA Roadlink is illegally transporting passengers on its Pretoria - Cape Town bus route.

28 Jun 2008

An SA Roadlink bus on its way from Johannesburg to East London is involved in an accident with a Nissan double cab and a BMW.

3 Jun 2008

Over 50 people are injured when an SA Roadlink bus crashes near Marianhill toll plaza.

26 Nov 2007

3 die when an SA Roadlink bus and a bakkie crash near Plettenberg Bay.

24 Dec 2006

12 die when an SA Roadlink bus crashes into a bridge on the N3 near Pietermaritzburg.


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