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Witness tells of traumatic N2 accident

A 33-year-old roadworker survived a horrific accident on the N2 near Grabouw.

A car crashed into him at a speed of between 80 and 100 km/h, sending him flying into the air.

The chilling incident was captured on dashcam footage by a motorist who insists the driver should be charged with culpable homicide.

“A human being was hit while ‘protected’ by flags and warnings. Our family was put in danger,” said eyewitness Elri de Meillon, who was driving with her husband, Lyndon, in front of the other vehicle.

She said she contacted the police to follow-up on the case, but hit a brick wall as she felt her information was not welcome.

Grabouw police spokesperson Captain Raleen Atson confirmed the victim had sustained serious injuries and a case of reckless and negligent driving is under investigation.

“Only if a person passed away can we open a case of culpable homicide,” Atson pointed out.

Asked why police apparently were not interested in the video evidence, Atson replied: “[The woman] can email the footage to the police.”

The footage, in the possession of DistrictMail, shows cars travelling in a single lane and behind a truck on Friday 22 March, just after midday.

“A metallic green Toyota [Avanza] was attempting to pass us when it was clearly not safe to do so,” De Meillon recalled.

“A roadworks bakkie was parked on the centre line and two workers were walking in the middle of the road, one with a flag and the other with a spade. We hooted to warn the [driver of the] Toyota not to pass, but he just continued.”

She added there was no way the driver was unable to see the workers as they wore bright orange clothing and neon bibs.

“The driver hit the male worker right next to our car and [he] shot up into the air,” De Meillon continued. “He almost landed on our car and the spade passed between our cars. The Toyota was damaged and veered off towards the right-hand side of the road. My children were severely traumatised as they witnessed and heard the impact. It was not safe for us to stop.”

The video footage shows the other worker narrowly missing the impact.

De Meillon feels it is incidents such as these that should be dealt with decisively.

“We strongly feel this driver should be charged with culpable homicide,” she said. “It was clearly reckless driving without any regard for human life.”

According to Atson, the victim has been identified as Xolele Phindela, a resident of Du Noon along the N7.

“The victim sustained serious injuries, but has been discharged from hospital,” Atson said.

“A case of reckless and negligent driving is still under investigation by Grabouw detectives.”

The driver has yet to be charged.

“Nobody from the police has made contact as promised,” De Meillon said. “I cannot see how, at any stage, the driver could not be charged on the spot.”

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