JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng - The deadly multi-vehicle pile-up that occurred on the N12 East near Alberton, south-east of central Johannesburg, should not be described as an accident.
FREEWAY TERROR: An out-of-control truck caused collisions involving more than 50 vehicles and some deaths in Alberton on Oct 14. Early reports of a fuel tanker being to blame were later confirmed as wrong.Image: Juan Maritz
Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi has said: ... "labelling it as an accident was simply a euphemism. This was not an accident, it was a crash."
Four people died after a truck smashed into almost 50 cars in early-morning traffic and at least 16 people were injured.
Vadi said the road looked like a bomb had exploded, overturning some cars.
He was speaking at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg where three of the injured were being nursed. Two are 'critical, the third 'serious'.
Trauma specialist Lizel Taylor, who was on duty when the crash happened on Tuesday (Oct 13 2014) said each could expect a lengthy hospital stay.
VIDEO: Alberton crash aftermath
"Anything could happen from now," she said. One was on a ventilator after sustaining chest, heart and lungs injuries. Another, who has had surgery three times already, has a serious head injury and internal bleeding from the liver and chest.The third has several arm fractures, had brain scans, but was alert.
Vadi said exposing the injured to the media would put pressure on them. "Two of them are heavily sedated. They are not in a condition to be seen by the public."
The crash coincided with "transport month". Vadi said: "It has put a damper on the campaign and weakened the spirit."
The truck driver, who was arrested, claimed his brakes failed.Vadi echoed the sentiments of national transport minister Dipuo Peters, who called for the truck's owner to be brought to book if this was found to be true.
"In my personal opinion, there should be dual accountability," Vadi said. "This was perhaps one of the worst road crashes the province had seen."
Earlier reports of a tanker being to blame were later proved wrong.