Elderly woman survives after vehicle 'rolled seven times' down Sani Pass

07 June 2022 - 12:45
By Suthentira Govender
An elderly woman survived her vehicle plunging down Sani Pass
Image: Underberg Emergency Medical Service An elderly woman survived her vehicle plunging down Sani Pass

An elderly woman was seriously injured after her vehicle “rolled seven times” down Sani Pass, while trying to negotiate an icy corner.

The incident on the KwaZulu-Natal mountain pass, which connects SA to Lesotho, took place last Tuesday and she was transported to Mokhotlong Hospital in the neighbouring country.

Underberg Emergency Medical Service (UEMS) was approached by the injured woman's family to airlift her to a specialist facility in Pietermaritzburg.

“The elderly woman got into difficulty on the icy corners of the pass. She requested her husband and friend travelling with her at the time to get out of the vehicle before she attempted to conquer the corner.

“Unfortunately the vehicle skidded and slipped off the side of the mountain. The vehicle rolled seven times before coming to rest in a stream between the switchbacks,” said UEMS.

“The elderly patient was transported privately to Mokhotlong Hospital in Lesotho with serious injuries.

“The family of the patient contacted UEMS for assistance in evacuating the patient back to SA. A Netcare 911 helicopter was activated and met UEMS paramedics en route to safely airlift the patient to a specialised medical facility in Pietermaritzburg.”

On Tuesday SnowReportSA issued a warning on its Facebook page to people planning to tackle the pass about the dangers it posed at times, “especially after snowfall when the temperatures drop and melted snow turns into ice on the pass”.

“The switchbacks near the top in particular, and especially on the right side that gets shade for much of the day in winter, can sometimes have ice for days and this makes coming down even more risky,” said SnowReportSA.

“4x4 trips up and down the pass with very experienced drivers who know the pass well make the whole experience a lot safer and less stressful for everyone, so check our website for details.

“If you are going to tackle the pass, then make sure you ask about the condition of the road from people that you meet along the way, as well as at the SA border post lower down.

“The elderly person that was in the vehicle at the time of the accident was injured but from what we understand they are recovering. The accident could have been way more serious, so please be safe on this challenging pass.”


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