Neighbour offered solace to dying gardener struck in freak plane accident

08 October 2018 - 14:42 By Naledi Shange And Iavan Pijoos
Two people died when a light aeroplane crashed into a residential property in Midrand on October 8 2018.
Two people died when a light aeroplane crashed into a residential property in Midrand on October 8 2018.
Image: Emer-g-med

A neighbour has described how she tried to provide solace to a dying gardener struck by a light aircraft that crashed into a residence in Vorna Valley‚ Midrand‚ north of Johannesburg‚ on Monday morning‚ also killing its female pilot.

Lebo Magolego‚ a neighbour who witnessed the crash‚ told TimesLIVE that she had rushed to the scene shortly after the accident and had tried to make conversation with the injured gardener in a bid to reassure him that help was on its way.

"He was lying on his side. It looked like his face had been partially cut by the plane‚" said Lebo Magolego.

"The blood on his face was just so thick‚" she said‚ adding that he was traumatised by the ordeal.

She enquired about his name and called out to him.

The gardener was said to have been a foreign national.

"I asked him to move his fingers but he was hardly moving but I kept asking him to show me if he can hear me‚" she said.

Magolego said when she looked around the scene she saw a woman slouched inside the plane’s cockpit.

"She had braids on her head and was lying on her side‚" Magolego said.

The female pilot had been travelling alone.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst told TimesLIVE that the wing of the plane had clipped a building before crashing.

"When the aircraft came down‚ the wing clipped the building and apparently landed on top of a gardener who was busy in the garden at the time‚" said Herbst.

"I don't know what kind of aircraft it is‚ but from what I heard from the people that were there on the scene‚ it is completely wrecked‚" Herbst said.

Malogelo said she had been in bed when she heard what sounded like a plane right above her roof.

It sounded like the engine was troubled.

"It sounded like the engine was troubled‚" she said‚ adding that moments after this‚ she heard a huge thud.

Malogelo told TimesLIVE that the plane had rested on the bark of a tree and it had partially hit another neighbour’s wall.

Police spokesman Captain Kay Makhubele said the accident had happened at around 11.30am.

"Both people were declared dead on scene‚" he said.

The plane had not hit the house but had crashed into the yard.

Police cordoned off the area leading to the house as aviation authorities and medics continued to comb the crash site.

A fire engine was positioned outside the house as scores of neighbours stood near the tape‚ peering into the yard.

Makhubele told TimesLIVE the bodies of the two deceased were yet to be removed from the scene.