The TLB crashed into a school taxi and five other vehicles in Pietermaritzburg.
Durban – Pupils from Wartburg Kirchdorf School were injured after a municipal tractor loader backhoe (TLB) crashed into their school taxi and five other vehicles in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.
The driver of the TLB, a Msunduzi municipality employee, allegedly lost control of the machine and drove into oncoming traffic, crashing into six vehicles, including the school minibus taxi, another minibus taxi, a double cab bakkie and a BMW. He was arrested for reckless and negligent driving.
Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha confirmed that the driver was a municipal employee, adding that deputy mayor Manilal Inderjit and other senior managers went to the scene and the hospital to offer support to those injured in the accident.
Mafumbatha said Msunduzi’s mayor, Mzimkhulu Thebolla, and his executive committee would also visit Wartburg Kirchdorf School today.
“The municipality would like to place it on record that reckless behaviour will not be tolerated. We are very grateful that there were no fatalities,” said Inderjit.
Mala Rajah, a passenger in the BMW, said she and her husband, Dennis, were travelling home. “We were travelling in the opposite direction as the grader. It was that Saturday peak traffic going in and out of town and the driver crashed through the centre barrier and dragged it across the road, so there was nowhere we could go when the grader crashed into the other vehicles.
“We just had to brace ourselves when it hit the taxi and the taxi hit into us and picked our car off the ground.”
She said that when the backhoe loader eventually came to a stop and they got out of their car, they saw the pupils crying hysterically, some of them bleeding from cuts and bruises.
Rajah said there was also a passenger in the backhoe loader who jumped out of the moving machine in fear.