Western Cape grieves for young paramedics killed in head-on crash
Western Cape premier Alan Winde and health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo have described the death of two paramedics as “tragic and a loss to the province’s healthcare system” after they died in a head-on collision while on duty at the weekend.
On Monday the two visited Ceres emergency medical services in the Witzenberg municipality to show support to colleagues of Thani Magalakanga, 32, and Mario Vergotine, 30. They died in the early hours of Sunday morning after the ambulance they were travelling in was involved in a head-on collision with a truck on the R43 on the Ceres-Wolseley Road. There were no patients in the ambulance.
Mbombo described their untimely death as an “immense loss to the department and their families”.
“They have left a legacy that will live beyond their years. In trauma situations the first contact a patient has with the health service is that of a paramedic. They are the health professionals that will humble you in terms of how they engage with patients at their most vulnerable.
“So when we lose them, it is a tragic loss not only to their loved ones and their colleagues, but the community at large. This tragic incident has taken the lives of our own. I am reminded it is with the strength of fellow paramedics and colleagues that we reach out to each other for support during this difficult time.”
Winde said the paramedics were “exceptional people who had dedicated their lives to helping others”.
“Now they are gone too soon. Our hearts are extremely sore at their passing, and we extend our deepest sympathy to their loved ones, family, friends and colleagues.
“Each and every one of our healthcare workers is very dear to us given the important work they do, often under difficult circumstances.”
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