Home South African Man pleads not guilty after wiping out family in horror crash

Man pleads not guilty after wiping out family in horror crash


It is believed the man's alcohol content was 0.91 at the time of the 2018 crash which caused the death of eight people.

Eight family members, aged between 4 and 52 were wiped out when a car they were travelling in collided head on with a Ford Ranger on the N2 near Umzumbe. The victims included Veroshnie Ramparsad and her husband Mitchell Roland Mahabeer. Picture: Supplied

Durban –  A South Coast businessman who faces 8 counts of culpable homicide after a Pietermaritzburg family died in a horror crash in 2018 has pleaded not guilty. 

Anastasio Peyios, 65, from Ramsgate, pleaded not guilty to negligently causing the deaths of the eight people and a charge of drunk driving.

He appeared for the start of his trial in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court today. 

The crash which occurred near Umzumbe on the South Coast in January 2018 claimed the lives of four children and four adults. 

The adult victims were Mitchell Mahabeer, 43, his wife Veroshnie Ramparsad, 34, Lorraine Rampersadh, 57, and 22-year-old Jesse Mahabeer.

The children who died in the crash were Titus, 3, Leah, 6, Hannah, 7, and Isabella, 11. 

The family had been returning to their Northdale home after a family holiday. They had been travelling in a VW Golf 1. 

The wreck of the VW Golf in which the eight family members were travelling. Picture: Arrive Alive

Peyios was travelling in a bakkie. 

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and claimed he had taken heart medication when the accident occured.

Thandeka Joyful Shelembe a provinicial inspector for Road Traffic Inspectorate, testified on Thursday that at the accident scene Peyios’s breath had a “strong alcohol smell.”

“When I asked him if he needed medical attention he told me he was fine. He did not mention his heart condition and he never said he had take tablets for it.” 

The court heard that when Shelembe screened him for his alcohol content it was 0.91.

“It should have been less than 0.24. His reading showed he exceeded the lawful limit,” she told the court. 

Family spokesperson, Aaron Harry, said the family wanted justice. 

“Lorraine was my sister. We don’t only want justice for us, but every other family whose loved one was taken by drunken or neglect driving. This ordeal has taken a toll on our family.”

The trial is proceeding.