Bus driver found hanging from tree after deadly crash in Welkom
The driver of an Intercape bus that overturned in the Free State - killing at least eight people and injuring 45 - was found hanging near the crash scene early on Monday in an apparent suicide.
The bus crashed on Alma Road in Welkom just before 5am on Monday.
Police spokesperson Brig Motantsi Makhele told TimesLIVE at noon that eight people had died, including two children, while 45 others had been injured and transported to various hospitals.
"The body of the driver was found hanging from a tree not so far from the accident scene," said Makhele, adding that an inquest docket had been opened.
The Free State department of health said the driver was 32 years old.
Department spokesperson Mondli Mvambi confirmed that nine people had died. "Seven people died on scene. The driver of the bus ran away and hanged himself. A child died later in hospital," said Mvambi.
"It is possible that the bus driver might have perceived that he might be taking blame for the accident. He could have been shocked. It could be a number of things."
The breakdown of the fatalities is as follows:— Free State Health (@fs_health) May 20, 2019
1 Male the driver who committed suicide
1 child just passed away in Medi clinic
Patients transported to Bongani Hospital, St Helena, Medi Clinic and Thusanong Hospitals. pic.twitter.com/jdEqGhbEWZ