South Africa

Commuters flung out of taxi crashing into east animal rescue centre, leaving one dead

Police are investigating an incident of culpable homicide after an alleged speeding mini-bus taxi crashed into a Pretoria east animal shelter’s boundary wall this week, leaving one passenger dead and 11 others injured.

The accident occurred on Monday, May 13 at Wet Nose Animal Rescue Centre, according to emergency services that responded to the scene.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Johan van Dyk said the police have opened a case of culpable homicide in response to the incident.

“The investigations into the culpable homicide case continue to reach the root of the accident,” said Van Dyk.

He said the minibus taxi driver was alive and among the injured.

The taxi allegedly swerved off the road, hit a rock, flipped and crashed through the boundary wall.

The crash was devastating and many of the passengers were thrown out of the taxi.

Photo: Supplied.

Tshwane Emergency Service spokesperson Deputy Chief Charles Mabaso said they received the call at 17:46.

“Upon arrival at the scene, the crews found a taxi had overturned.”

Mabaso said the Tshwane EMS found the Gauteng EMS ambulances were already on the scene.

“Nine patients with moderate to serious injuries and two with critical injuries were treated and transported to hospitals. One patient was declared dead on the scene by paramedics,” Mabaso said.

He said the patients with critical injuries were transported to Wilgers Hospital by Gauteng EMS.

“The rest were transported to Bronkhorstspruit Hospital and Wilgers Hospital.”

He said the cause of the crash formed part of the police investigations.

Wet Nose Animal Rescue Centre is a well-known non-profit organisation dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and caring for abandoned, abused, and neglected animals.

The overturned taxi that crashed at Wet Nose Animal rescue centre. Photo: Supplied.

According to a statement, their animal welfare manager and inspector Veronica van Greunen witnessed this tragic incident.

“Out of nowhere, a taxi came flying through our boundary wall, right next to our exercise runs,” said Wet Nose.

The centre suggested that if Van Greunen had walked by just five seconds earlier, the taxi would have hit her.

“Amid the chaos, Veronica witnessed one of the passengers frantically trying to reach their loved ones. She assisted the badly injured passenger in making a phone call informing his family of the situation.”

She said it seemed the commuters were all employed by the same company and on their way to work.

“We are deeply grateful for the swift response from the first responders, ambulances, and fire services,” read the statement.

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