Police say the driver of a bus which overturned on the N1 highway in Limpopo is still recovering in hospital from the injuries he sustained in the deadly crash which killed at least ten passengers.
The fatal accident happened near the Caltex garage as the bus was leaving Polokwane on Friday morning.
Officers are probing the cause of Friday morning’s crash, while the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) says a preliminary investigation has shown human error is to blame.
The corporation is also still trying to determine how another long-distance bus, travelling from Zambia to Gauteng crashed on the N1 also in Limpopo on Monday, leaving 11 dead.
Police are now investigating the cause of the crash.
“We are checking everything that could possibly contribute to the cause of the incident, including driver fitness, their ability to drive, weather conditions, visibility at the time and the roadworthiness of the vehicle,” Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson Simon Zwane said.
The RTMC says preliminary investigations show human error is to blame for Friday morning’s deadly bus crash.
Zwane said people need to be more visible on the roads.
“As a deterrent to those people who may be tempted to break the rules of the road; if we’re visible we’ll be assisting in getting them to modify their conduct.”
Zwane added they are checking the roadworthiness of the bus along with the licence of the driver.
“We’ve had two accidents in one week. We have to step up visibility in the province and municipality as we approach the weekend because of the many people who will be travelling.”
“Bags‚ bodies and injured people were strewn around the bus while medical and rescue teams pulled others who were trapped underneath the bus. You could see from a distance looking down at the wreckage that others were already dead‚” said one person who was at the scene.
Arrive Alive said in a statement that paramedics and police arrived at the crash site to find a “large bus lying on its side on the side of the road. Numerous people were found lying scattered around the vehicle”.
Some had fatal injuries and were declared dead on the scene while five people sustained critical injuries and 29 others minor to moderate injuries. They were transported to nearby hospitals.
According to Limpopo Transport department spokesperson Matome Moremi, the the bus driver lost control and overturned.
Westenburg police are however reporting that Nine people died on the spot, not ten.
Constable Mienkie Ramakgoakgoa explained that the bus was carrying 61 passengers, including the driver and crew.
"Nine out of 61 were certified dead at the scene, all the injured people were taken to different hospitals for medical treatment. Preliminary police investigations revealed that the bus was travelling from Harare to Gauteng. The deceased include four males, four females and one toddler."
The identification process of all the deceased is still unfolding.