EVERY year when the rains come, drivers are warned not to cross flooded bridges.

Yet at least one driver will take on the raging waters.

On Wednesday, four passengers almost drowned when their taxi was swept off a bridge in Pietermaritzburg while they were on their way to KwaDambuza.

The rain had caused the bridge to flood and the taxi was caught by the water. But the concrete pillars caught the vehicle before it could drop deeper into the water.

Two men managed to climb to safety at that point but two others, a man and a woman, were taken by the river.

Search and rescue police managed to pull them from the reeds further down the river.

ER24 spokesman Ross Campbell said all four were treated at the scene for cuts and scratches. The woman was suffering from mild hyperthermia.

The passengers were all taken to Edendale Hospital.

Their identities are, however, unknown as their names weren’t taken down. It is uncertain if they’re still in hospital.

Meanwhile, the KZN Department of Education released a statement yesterday saying all pupils should be collected from school as heavy rain was coming.

The statement said those who were writing exams should continue but should be released immediately after finishing.

The KZN Department of Traditional Affairs released a statement on Wednesday night stating that since October the province had been experiencing extreme weather conditions.

This has resulted in 798 houses being flooded. Assessments are still ongoing but so far 14 deaths and 19 injuries have been reported.