It was déjà vu again for Franschhoek residents on 27 January 2022 when yet another out-of-control truck hurtled down Lambrechts St from the Franschhoek Pass, crashed through the intersection with Huguenot St and overturned.
Dramatic video footage circulating on social media shows the moment at 13h26 when the eighteen wheeler truck and trailer, which appears to have lost its brakes, speeds down Lambrechts St and overturns as the driver tries to make a desperate left turn to safety into the Bohoek road. Skidding to a standstill on the bus parking area at the old circus grounds the trailer’s cargo of pears scatters over a large area, with two bins wrecking the vehicle entrance to 2 Huguenot St.
The Western Cape Government Health’s (WCGH’s) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded to the incident. Two EMS rescue vehicles – an ambulance and a response vehicle – and the Skymed helicopter were dispatched. On arrival they found two male occupants who had sustained serious injuries and were trapped underneath the truck. Once the patients were extricated, they were both transported to Paarl Hospital (one by Skymed and the other by a private ambulance service).
Local residents have long feared another deadly truck accident at the Huguenot / Lambrechts St intersection. Seven lives were lost in similar truck accidents here in 2006 and 2007 and it’s become what one resident described as “practically an annual occurrence”. After the first two accidents the provincial government constructed two raised intersections in Huguenot St, but have failed to do anything to prevent this type of accident re-occurring. Suggestions over many years have included weight or length restrictions on the pass and an arrester bed next to the upper section of Lambrechts St.
Text: Editorial Desk | Image: Western Cape EMS