N12 accident: Truck owners under investigation

Benusi Cargo Carriers are under investigation after another one of its trucks was taken off the road.

FILE: Emergency vehicles and people stand on the scene of a horrific accident on the N12 East after a truck swept several cars after failing to stop on 14 October 2014. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As investigations continue into Tuesday's deadly multi-vehicle accident on the N12 in Alberton, another truck from the same company that caused the crash was taken off the road.

Just as the highway was being reopened after the 18 wheeler ploughed into around 50 cars killing four people on the Voortrekker offramp, another truck from Benusi Cargo Carriers was stopped.

Gauteng traffic authorities said the truck was found to be unroadworthy.

Spokesman Obed Sibasa said traffic officials were quick to spot the truck..

"Upon inspection, we picked up that the trailer had four unroadworthy tyres and it was taken off the road."

Police are now also investigating the truck company following the second incident

Police have confirmed that investigations are also underway into the speed the truck was travelling at and if it was above the limit of 80 km/h.

Police say the driver could face murder or culpable homicide and an additional charge of reckless and negligent driving.

The driver of the truck admitted that the brakes had failed him.

He was taken in for police questioning and has remained in custody at the Alberton police station.

Emergency services confirmed the death toll had risen from two to four, with at least 17 others injured.

Netcare 911's Santi Steinman said that two of those transported to hospital died on the way and were declared dead on arrival.

Meanwhile transport authorities have expressed shock and dismay upon learning of the accident that has been described as horrific by eyewitness.

Transport Minister Dipou Peters has urged authorities to act against the owners of the truck.

Peters says government is gravely concerned about the rate at which fatal accidents are happening on the country's roads.

She says her ministry plans to enforce stricter regulations on truck driving schools.

"The rate at which crashes are happening in South Africa is actually shocking. The behavior and alertness of our people on the road is worrying."

The minister says driving schools need to provide better training for truck drivers.

"The training of our drivers leaves much to be desired. That is why one of the key regulations we are working on now is related to regulating and monitoring the work of the driving schools."

At the same time, transport MEC Ismail Vadi has also expressed concern as the accident comes at the start of transport month.

Editor of Fleet Watch Patrick O' Leary, says a significant percentage of trucks tested for roadworthiness usually fail.

"We still are getting a 70 percent failure rate in those exercises. So with over 530 trucks, which is a very big sample, we failed over 70 percent. That's more than 300 trucks."

ANOTHER FATAL ACCIDENT

Less than 24 hours after what's been described as Joburg's worst accident, there's been another fatal accident in Diepsloot where at least one person has died.

Emergency services are on the scene of what appears to be an overturned bakkie carrying several passengers.

It's still unclear how many cars were involved or if there are any other fatalities.

Johannesburg Metro Police Spokesperson Edna Mamonyane says emergency services are still assisting the injured.

"We have been informed of one fatality. We have dispatched special unites to the scene as well as a morgue van. At this stage we cannot yet say what was the cause of the accident or how many vehicles were involved."