Shortly after 5am on Tuesday morning, March 17, emergency services received a report of an accident on the N11, between Newcastle and Ladysmith in the Tigerskloof area.
A bakkie with one male occupant and a number of animals were in the vehicle when it veered off the road and crashed into the bottom of a bridge.
On arrival paramedics from both WATCO Emergency Medical Services and ER24 found the man to be heavily entrapped in the wreckage.
Jan-Henk van Vuuren of WATCO Emergency Medical Service explains that at this stage, the man was in a serious condition.
The motorist stated to paramedics that the accident occurred at around 4am in the morning. However, emergency services initially had difficulties in locating the scene due to the position and location that the vehicle was in.
The Newcastle Fire Department and the SPCA were called to the scene to assist with the extrication of the man and the animals, which included five dogs and seven cats.
Emergency workers were faced with a very difficult rescue, due to the position of the vehicle and surrounding conditions. The man’s condition deteriorated, and he had to be resuscitated inside the vehicle. Unfortunately, he later succumbed to his injuries and was declared deceased on the scene.
The SPCA managed to rescue most of the animals and they were taken to a facility for further care.
The exact cause of the accident is still unknown and will be investigated by the South African Police Service.