13-year-old boy sole survivor of car crash that wiped out his family

A couple, their 29-year-old and three-year-old daughters and a neighbour died

28 March 2024 - 20:00
By Rorisang Kgosana
A deadly car crash in Limpopo has left a 13-year-old boy orphaned.
Image: 123RF/kunpisit A deadly car crash in Limpopo has left a 13-year-old boy orphaned.

A 13-year-old boy was the only survivor of a crash that killed his parents and his two siblings in Limpopo last week.

On Saturday morning, the boy was travelling in a Toyota Corolla with his father, 63, his mother, 50, and his two sisters aged 29 and three. Another woman, their neighbour, was also in the car.

As they were approaching ga-Moraba village in the Leboeng policing area in Sekhukhune district, the driver of the Toyota allegedly lost control of the car, leading it to collide head-on with a MAN truck.

“The couple, their 29-year-old and three-year-old daughters and the neighbour died at the scene. The third child, 13-year-old boy, survived with serious injuries,” police spokesperson Brig Hlulani Mashaba said.

The truck driver, who was travelling alone, was unscathed. Mashaba said a case of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving were opened for investigation.

According to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), 12,436 people lost their lives in car accidents in 2023 but a significant 10.2% of the victims were children aged 0 to 14 years.

“The RTMC calls for greater co-operation from motorists to reduce the number of children who are injured or killed on the roads. We believe that a small investment in child seats and restraints can go a long way in saving our children’s lives,” said RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane. 

The National Road Traffic Act states that all drivers should ensure that a child aged between three and 14 uses a child restraint, if available, or a seat belt. Infants under three must be strapped into a car seat.

ChildSafe SA executive director and spokesperson Zaitoon Rabaney said the number of children who die on the roads is unacceptable yet preventable.

“This Easter we urge drivers to reflect on their road behaviour and commit to making the necessary changes. By simply buckling up, respecting speed limits and ensuring children are safely secured in appropriate car seats, we can dramatically reduce the risk of fatalities and severe injuries,” Rabaney said.

According to the University of Cape Town’s African Brain Child Initiative, 96% of children who were admitted into ICU with moderate to severe head injuries due to a car accident were not wearing seat belts.

UCT Neuroscience Institute associate professor and African Brain Child Initiative spokesperson Ursula Rolhwink said children who suffered severed disability or death due to road accidents were not wearing seat belts.

“Children who are not properly restrained in a car are catapulted out of the car on impact, and the consequences can be devastating. Nothing but a car seat or a seat belt can prevent that. Making sure a child is properly restrained is the easiest thing parents can do to ensure their child’s safety,” she said.