The police are investigating a case of culpable homicide after a truck crashed into a home and killed a family of three in Postmasburg.
THE POSTMASBURG police are investigating a case of culpable homicide after a tipper truck crashed into a home and killed a family of three in Newton, Postmasburg on Monday.
The deceased family members are Marshall Messelar, 28, his partner Shariffah van Wyk, 30, and their two-month-old baby.
Messelaar, who was originally from Griekwastad, was reportedly working at Kolomela Mine near Postmasburg.
The truck destroyed two rooms, which are part of 11 “hostels” that are mostly rented out to mine workers.
The deceased were tenants of one of the rooms.
The truck also “flattened” a vehicle, an Opel Corsa, that is believed to have belonged to the deceased.
The police are still searching for the driver of the truck, who is on the run after fleeing the horrific accident scene.
The driver apparently lost control of the truck while it was reversing down Marantheng. It crashed through a wall of the home, flattened a vehicle, before coming to a standstill in the yard.
The truck was apparently loaded with gravel and eyewitnesses claimed that it was travelling at high speed, which made it impossible for the driver to retain control of it.
Community members on Thursday slammed the local municipality for being unable to “control” mining trucks in the area that are a “hazard” and, according to residents, do not comply with the rules of the road.
They said that some of the trucks are unroadworthy and drive recklessly and that residents’ complaints have been falling on deaf ears for a number of years
Family members of the deceased said on Thursday that they are still awaiting an explanation from the company that owns the truck, while they are struggling to make the funeral arrangements.
Messelaar’s cousin, Eloise Messelaar, expressed shock at the tragic manner in which her cousin and his family lost their lives.
She said the couple had been together for four years.
The mayor of Tsantsabane Local Municipality, Mpho Mashila, went to the scene and expressed her heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
The owner of the truck has meanwhile acknowledged the incident and said that the driver was still on probation.
He said the incident has shocked them all. He added that the driver seems to be afraid to come forward.
“I was in Johannesburg when I was told about the accident but I rushed to Postmasburg to go to the scene,” said the owner.
“We have been co-operating with the police in any way we can. I have still not been able to speak to the driver because we do not know how to get in touch with him.
“I feel for the bereaved family. We will allow the law to take its course and for the legal representatives to take over.”
The owner refrained from commenting on whether the company will assist in terms of the funeral costs and whether they will foot the bill for the damages caused.
The owner of the hostels, Jaque Rooifontein, also expressed shock regarding the incident.
He said that a relative had contacted him and urged him to “rush back home” to the scene of the crash.
According to Rooifontein, Messelaar was likely to have been resting ahead of his night shift on the day of the incident.
He said that Messelaar had been staying at his hostel for about eight years.
Rooifontein described how heartbreaking it was for those present to watch as the bodies had to be dug up after they were buried under the gravel from the truck.
He said that six of the eleven rooms were damaged during the incident.
“People’s furniture was crushed and walls cracked. Apart from the deceased’s car, which was flattened, another car was also badly scratched.”
He added that the damage could have been far worse if the truck did not crash into the deceased’s car. “That car practically stopped the truck, otherwise more people could have died and the damage could have been more.
Rooifontein said it was “sad” that he was left to deal with the damages as no one from the company has come forward yet.
“At least Eskom came on the same day, but I have already lost most of my tenants as they have already given their notices to move out.
“Some do not really have a choice as they have to move in order for renovations to start.
“The hostels also have a bad reputation now as some feel they are clouded with bad luck.
“These rooms are my only means of income,” he lamented.
“Most of my tenants are miners who are still finding their feet.”