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by Erika Southey
11 November 2016, Pretoria

A CAREENING truck claimed the life of 22 year-old Charles Peyper on November 6 when it collided into the ‘dolosse’ on the N2 (Eastern Cape) and crushed him.

It seems that the truck must have carried quite a bit of speed and cargo to go from the road to the spot where Peyper stood fishing.

A visibly upset and sobbing colleague told me early Monday, November 7 that a good friend of hers’s brother died in an accident.  An accident that is quite baffling and currently under investigation.

The Herald Live (a leading Eastern Cape news site) picked up the story and reported that: “The accident happened at about 10.30 pm on Monday when a truck and trailer, transporting a load of iron-ore, left the road and crashed through the barrier fence next to the N2, and landed on top of Peyper.”

There are many unanswered questions as to what really happened and why the driver of the truck fled the scene.  The driver later returned and according to a family source; is currently in police custody.

Peyper’s mother and stepfather were the first family members on the scene and were met with a gruesome scene of “just his legs sticking out from under the truck.”

It would be interesting to get a picture of events on the truck driver’s side that lead to this alleged ‘freak accident’.

What does the law say about alleged causes of this carnage?

Speed?  According to the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 in conjunction with the National Road Traffic Regulations, 2000:
“(1) In terms of section 59(3) of the Act, a speed limit of- (a) 80 kilometers per hour shall, subject to the proviso to the said section, apply in respect to- (i) a goods vehicle the gross vehicle mass of which exceeds 9 000 kilograms; …”

According to The Herald Live; the driver alleged that he was overtaking another truck.

Legislation says in section 308 referring to ‘General duties of driver or passenger of vehicle on public road’ that: ” 1(e) when driving such vehicle, occupy such position that he or she does not have complete control over the vehicle or does not have a full view of the roadway and the traffic ahead of such vehicle.

Driver fatigue?

This is a big contributor to accidents and don’t seem to have clearly defined legislation to it.
Speaking to truck drivers on different occasions when the topic of driver fatigue came up: “meet the delivery deadline or or else” stood out.
Sometimes the lure of additional pay doing an extra trip is too good to pass up, because it fills a hole.

Researching the topic; loss of profit and customer demand came up as reasons for pushing the envelope to get a consignment from point A to B.

Why is legislation around driver fatigue not clearly defined?

Family and friends are in shock and looking for answers.  Will it be forth-coming?

Charles Peyper’s death; to many will be a statistic, but to loved ones it’s a life that can never be replaced.