A CASE of culpable homicide has been opened for further investigation after three vehicles collided.
Seven people died and others sustained injuries.
The incident happened on Monday, 17 January at about 2.20am on the R61 just outside Aberdeen.
Eastern Cape Transport Department spokesman Unathi Binqose said a fully loaded Toyota minibus taxi that was heading to the Western Cape from the Eastern Cape crashed into a stationary bus experiencing mechanical problems and being repaired.
He said the taxi rammed into the back of the recovery vehicle, and three adults (two women and a man) and four children died in the taxi.
“The injured were taken to Aberdeen Hospital and Midlands Hospital in Graaff-Reinet for further medical management,” said Binqose.
The circumstances surrounding the cause of the accident are still unknown at this stage, as the incident is still under investigation by various partners including the national Department of Transport.
“A case of culpable homicide was opened at Aberdeen Police Station for further investigation,” said Binqose.
Resident Luyolo Mntuyedwa (40) said the problem with taxi drivers is that they don’t want to sleep when they’re tired.
“It’s clear that he was sleeping while behind the wheel. The taxi drivers are tired because they have been up and down since December, and they don’t want to sleep,” said Luyolo.
He accused them of depending too much on energy drinks.
“I told them that the energy drinks won’t help them and when the body is tired, they will sleep while they are driving. These people are killing innocent souls.”
A taxi driver said as taximen, they are facing a challenge of taxi owners who don’t want them to take time and relax.
“They want money and they don’t care if you are tired or not. But we are sorry to the families who lost their loved ones,” said the taxi driver.