Survivors of N3 Crash Described Scene Like It Was a Movie
Ayavuya Mankunzi, whose cousin Athini Langa died in the accident, said they were travelling back to Johannesburg after spending the Easter holidays in the Eastern Cape. Five people, with two children at three months old and three years, were travelling in a Ford Fiesta car. Everything was fine until they reached a bend near Hilton on the N3 when visibility worsened due to heavy mist. So they slowed down and transferred to the middle lane since the trucks were in the slow lane.
While driving with their headlights on, they saw a man trying to wave cars down, but they ignored him, thinking he was hitchhiking on the highway. Shortly after passing him, they saw a massive accident. A truck and a taxi had already collided and were in the fast lane on the side of the road, and a tanker truck was on the side at the yellow line.
Mankunzi stopped on the side of the yellow line where the tanker truck was, and cars following him managed to stop quickly. They exited the vehicle and ran back to assist the man, trying to signal cars to slow down. Unfortunately, one tanker truck flew past them, followed by taxis and other vehicles flying past them, creating chaos.
Mankunzi went back towards his car to tell his family to get out. Amid the chaos, his cousin attempted to get his three-year-old son out of the vehicle. The tanker truck crashed into his cousin, killing her instantly. More cars kept coming, crashing into each other. Mankunzi heard his son crying, found him, and noticed his aunt and three-month-old baby trapped in the vehicle.
Thami Hlongwane, another survivor, was in a taxi from the Masukwana taxi rank heading to Howick. They stopped when they reached the accident scene to avoid getting hurt. The taxi was severely damaged because many cars crashed into it. They watched from a distance, stating that it was like a movie. Most people were injured while trying to escape but were lucky to get out on time.