Sue Maclennan and Ettione Ferreira
Two accidents in the same stretch of road in Grahamstown in two days have residents calling for measures to improve safety in Fitzroy Street, a main connecting road between east and west on the northern side of the city.
The driver of a vehicle that hit a parked car in Fitzroy Street late in the afternoon on Sunday 22 October was charged with reckless and negligent driving.
After hearing a loud crash outside their Fitzroy Street home around 5pm, the Zeelie family went outside and son Daniel was shocked to see the front right-side of his silver Ford Fiesta crunched up, the vehicle spun around.
Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender confirmed that the driver of the white Ford Focus that hit Zeelie’s car had been arrested and charged with reckless and negligent driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol.
The Zeelie family said it was the fifth such incident since they’d moved into the house a few years ago. Their house is just below the intersection of Fitzroy Street and Henry Street.
Less than 24 hours later, a taxi collided with a Makana Municipality water truck, just metres away from Sunday’s accident.
Fire and rescue services were called to cut the driver out of the taxi. The driver was very fortunate to escape without serious injury to his legs, which were trapped in a small area of crushed metal. Paramedics administered an intravenous drip while officers cut the vehicle away from him.
The incident happened around 2.30pm on Monday 23 October, just above the intersection of Henry and Fitzroy Streets.
“Nothing is done by municipality…. Speed bumps… Speed traps… Anything….,” commented Lizelle Zeelie on Facebook post about the second incident.
“Two accidents in two days in Fitzroy ..! Getting a little nervous in this area,” wrote Dianne Miller.
Malcolm Grant wrote in response to comments about taxis, “It is not only taxis that don’t stop at stop streets. Also people on cellphones while driving and when you say something to them they are very rude. Come on people act responsible before it’s too late and somebody gets killed. Thanks all.”
Makana Municipality spokesperson Yoliswa Ramokolo confirmed the vehicle involved in the second incident belongs to Makana and said there were no injuries to Makana employees.
“The accident report does not necessitate an inquiry for now,” Ramokolo said on Friday.
Makana’s Traffic Chief Coenraad Hanekom confirmed the involvement of the municipal vehicle in the second inciident.
He said while they were aware of some of the accidents that had occurred in Fitzroy Street, they unfortunately didn’t have statistics to say how frequent these were.
“At this stage there are no plans for Fitzroy Street,” Hanekom said, responding to a question about measures to improve safety on the road.
WATCH THE RESCUE TEAM FREE THE TAXI DRIVE FROM HIS VEHICLE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzAbjBTdPs0