Seven Die In Marquard Quantum Taxi Crash

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Seven people died and were burnt in an inferno after a collision between a Toyota Quantum taxi and a Mercedes heavy motor vehicle on the R707, near Marquard, eastern Free State.

Seven others were hurt in the collision that occurred on Friday.

Initial reports suggest that the Mercedes truck was parked along the R707 facing in the direction of Marquard with its rear wheel on the yellow lane.

The Toyota Quantum taxi, which was travelling in the same direction.is thought to have rear-ended the stationary truck.

As a result of the high-impact collision, the taxi caught alight.

“Seven people – six adults (including the male taxi driver) and a toddler – were burned beyond recognition while the injured managed to get out of the burning Taxi,” said the police.

One person was seriously injured and taken to the Senekal Hospital.  Passengers with lesser injuries were treated and discharged.

A case of culpable homicide was opened by the South African Police Service.

Free State Police, Roads, and Transport  MEC William Bulwane has conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased.

Bulwane called on all road users to be “extra vigilant” over the festive season and take personal responsibility for their conduct on the road.

“Drive within the speed limit, reduce your speed under conditions involving adverse weather and where visibility is impaired – especially at night,” said Bulwane.

“Do not drink or text and drive. Be alert at all times. Stay focused on your task as a driver and buckle up, don’t be distracted by activities in or outside your vehicle. Always watch out for pedestrians.

“This is a time of celebration and enjoying time with our loved ones.” 

On Wednesday Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula revealed that: “Year-on-year, the number of fatalities has marginally declined by 3,1% from 848 in 2020 to 822 this year”.

Mbalula said so far during this festive season 2 639 drivers have been arrested for various offences including drunk driving, excessive speeding, and operating vehicles without a driving licence.