A police investigation is now underway after four people were killed and 19 were left injured in a horror-smash on the R57 in Free State. The incident happened shortly after dawn on Easter Sunday, where emergency services arrived on the scene at 7:00 to assess the carnage.
Free State crash: Everything we know so far
As well as the multiple fatalities, two people are currently in a critical facility at a nearby medical facility. Three heavyweight vehicles – a taxi, a truck and an SUV, were all involved in the pile-up.
The accident unfolded between Reitz and Kestell on the R57, to the east of Bethlehem and a few kilometres away from the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Once again, more devastation has wreaked havoc on the roads during a public holiday in South Africa.
Emergency services react
Emer-G-Med were the first responders to the incident. They issued a statement confirming the details of the crash and revealed that aerial assistance was needed to help get the victims to hospital:
“Three vehicles were involved including a taxi, a truck and an SUV. Multiple casualties were treated on the scene. Four people have died, two were critically injured and 17 sustained minor to moderate injuries. An aeromedical helicopter Halo 3 was also activated to assist.”
《Free-State》 @EMER_G_MED attending to a mass casualty accident on the R57 between Kestell & Reitz. Multiple fatalities reported. Formal release to follow. @_ArriveAlive @GTP_Traffstats @Abramjee @ewnreporter @IamAlexSweet pic.twitter.com/RhLlXfFcqE
— EMER-G-MED (@EMER_G_MED) April 21, 2019
SAPS investigate Free State crash
The area is now being picked-over by the South African Police Service (SAPS), who have launched their own investigation into the cause of this multi-vehicle smash. Earlier on Sunday, SABC confirmed that those killed in this tragic accident were all occupants of the taxi.
Four people have been killed in a three-vehicle pile-up on the R57 road between Reitz and Kestell in the #FreeState. The crash involves a truck, a bakkie and a minibus taxi. Police say the deceased were occupants of the minibus taxi. #sabcnews
— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) April 21, 2019