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Crossing claims another life

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The taxi driver involved in an accident at the intersection of the R357 and R31 two weeks ago, has died

BIKE ACCIDENT: Netcare 911 paramedics found a biker, who had suffered serious injuries, lying in Memorial Road yesterday morning. His damaged motorcycle and accident debris were left on the side of the road. The bikers condition necessitated a Netcare 911 advanced life support paramedic to intervene. After the man was treated and spinally immobilised, he was transported to a local hospital. Picture: Supplied

THE DRIVER of a taxi that was involved in an accident with a sedan at the intersection of the R357 and R31 two weeks ago, has died in the Kimberley Hospital.

The taxi, which was transporting passengers to Douglas, collided with the sedan at the crossing, which is known as one of Kimberley’s “killer crossings”, on June 2.

The driver of the taxi, Chrisjan Bolokana, and another person were critically injured and rushed to hospital.

Seventeen other people were also injured but were discharged after receiving medical treatment.


THE SCENE: The driver of the taxi involved in this accident at one of the city’s “killer crossings” earlier this month, died on Friday.
Picture: Supplied

Bolokana, however, remained in a critical condition in hospital.

According to his brother, Isaac Bolokana, Chisjan was admitted to the Kimberley Hospital Complex’s Intensive Care Unit after the accident.

“He was in ICU for most of the time that he was in hospital. He was in a coma and never came around. The doctors told us that he had severe injuries to his head and that his brain was swollen,” Isaac said.

He added that the doctors had informed him that there was not much they could do for his brother.

“I travelled from Douglas to Kimberley daily to visit my brother in hospital and to report back to the family on Chrisjan’s condition. The doctors told me that they had done all they could for him. They pushed him into a ward from ICU last week Wednesday. Chrisjan was still in a coma at the time. He died on Friday.”

Isaac said that the family was shocked at the news of his death.

“We were all hoping that Chrisjan would come out of the coma. We were all praying he would pull through,” he said.

Additional safety measures are in the pipeline for the infamous crossings, which will see the South African Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) spend R115 million on the construction of traffic circles at the crossings.

Sanral Western Region (Northern and Western Cape) manager, Kobus van der Walt, said last week that urgent intervention was needed at the three intersections, where the N8, N12 and R357 respectively cross the R31.

“The high speed and possible lack of driver awareness at the stop signals have contributed towards these fatalities. The upgrade of these intersections will significantly improve the safety at these locations.” he said.

During a meeting with stakeholders last year, Van der Walt said that Sanral had explored various options to reduce the number of fatalities at the crossings and had determined that traffic circles and the installation of adequate street lighting all the way along the R31 was likely to render the best results, pointing out that accidents occurred most frequently at dawn and dusk when visibility is poor.

He added that construction was anticipated to start in September and continue for a period of 12 months.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated accident, a biker was seriously injured in Memorial Road yesterday morning.

Although details of the accident are sketchy, according to Netcare 911 the biker was treated for his injuries by an advanced life support paramedic before being transported to a local hospital.