Man dies as bus takes off car roof in crash

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Cape Town – A mechanic’s life was abruptly cut short when his Ford Escort crashed into a Golden Arrow bus.

Witnesses say the car ended up under the bus, which drove off with the car’s roof before coming to a stop further down the road.

Yassiem died instantly when he collided with a bus. Credit: LEON KNIPE
Yassiem died instantly when he collided with a bus. Credit: LEON KNIPE

Tafelsig engineer Yassiem Petersen, 22, was on his way to Groote Schuur Hospital with a friend and his mother, Karriema Petersen.

The tragic accident occurred when he turned back home because he had forgotten his wallet.

Witness Ricardo Williams said the Golden Arrow bus sped from Bokkeveld Avenue over AZ Berman Drive, and wanted to head into Orangekloof Avenue. But it came to a screeching halt when the bus driver saw the oncoming traffic in AZ Berman Drive, blocking one lane in each direction.

“Die bus het met ‘n spoed aangekom, toe wil hy nie stop nie in Bokkeveld nie. That’s why he ended up in the middle of the intersection. Toe kom daai ander kar en ry onder die bus in,” explains Ricardo.

(“The bus came up at speed, then he didn’t to stop in Bokkeveld. That’s why he ended up in the middle of the intersection. Then that other car came and rode under the bus.”)

Yassiem’s car ploughed into the back of the bus and the bus driver drove off with the car’s roof top stuck in its side.

His mom and friend were not injured in the accident.

His heartbroken aunt Muneera Fielies said Yassiem graduated from False Bay college, and started his apprenticeship at Steenberg Motors in Retreat earlier this year.

She said Yassiem was the eldest of six children, and was a petrolhead who loved his Ford.

“He often went to drag racing with his grandfather when he was off,” she said.

He was also the family mechanic. “Within a minute he would know what the problem was,” says Muneera.

She adds: “God doesn’t have a time or a age. If it’s your time to go, you must go. I still can’t believe he is not with us any more. We are all going to miss him very much.”

Police Spoken Constable Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed the incident.

“I confirm that an accident occurred in AZ Berman Drive, 18.30 last night, where a 22-year-old male was fatally injured”, she said.

Golden Arrow spokesperson John Dammert said they were aware of the incident and an investigation was under way.

“After the accident, the bus driver proceeded straight to the police station to report the incident. As per company policy, the driver has been suspended pending further investigations.”

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