HECTORSPRUIT – The funeral of the father and two sons who died in an accident on the N4 between Hectorspruit and Komatipoort last week, takes place in Pretoria today.
Mr Heinrich Kieser (48) and his sons Aldin (13) and Christiaan (15) died after the vehicle they were travelling in collided with a truck. They were returning home from a holiday in Mozambique.
According to the spokesman for community safety, security and liaison, Mr Joseph Mabuza, the driver of the truck had attempted to avoid a car that made an immediate left turn into the Tenbosch Road turn-off. It swerved right, colliding with the Kiesers’ vehicle.
The trio had been travelling with Heinrich’s girlfriend, Ms Gill Clarke and her son, Jordan Venter (15). Clarke was airlifted from the scene to Mediclinic Nelspruit, due to the nature of her injuries. Jordan, who suffered a cracked skull, pelvis and a punctured lung, was transported to the
same hospital by ambulance. Both are in the ICU.
Jordan is finally mobile, though not fit enough to leave the ICU. His mother is still recovering from an operation to stop her internal bleeding. She also sustained broken ribs, as well as a broken shoulder and ankle.
Regular users of the N4 have taken to social media to express their outrage at the lack of adequate signage along the route, which was under construction. They claimed it made it difficult for drivers to turn left onto the Tenbosch Road.
TRAC denied this allegation, saying speed bumps and contraflow lanes which are narrower than normal but within the legal requirements, were installed on the national highway.
Other signage indicating the speed limit and delineators redirecting traffic onto the turn-off were also present.
There were two signs, coming from the Komatipoort direction, which indicated the Tenbosch turn-off, one of which was closer to the turn-off. According to TRAC communications manager, Ms Solange Soares-Nicholson, the sign from the Hectorspruit direction was situated 300 metres from the turn-off. She added that, because of the construction, there was limited space for a second sign closer to it.
“It cannot be accommodated at this stage as that in itself will create a safety hazard,” she said.
Flag men and signs were situated on parts of the national road to warn motorists to use the road with caution.
“TRAC is very strict on its contractors because the safety of our road users is our number-one priority,” said Soares-Nicholson.
“We reiterate that this particular area is still a construction zone and it is important to bear this in mind, as a road user and member of the public.”