Truck calamity

By PG Jonker 

Wednesday, September 11, 2006 

At 22h39 my mother in law sat around her house, minding her own business.  The house is adjacent to a general dealer and an offsales.  Then she heard a noise.  Loud.  It sounded like a helicopter.  The noise lasted for a few seconds, and then something hit the building with a massive bang.  A chopper fell on my house, Anita thought. 

She went out and walked around the building to the front to see what has happened.   It turned out that a truck driver with a load of fish on his maiden trip to Stompneus Bay miscalculated the last bend in the road, 200 meters from his destination.  What Anita heard was the noise of the exhaust brake, and then the bang as the lorry overturned 270° and went right through the side wall of the shop. 

Tragically, the driver was killed on impact.  No-one could get to him for hours until they got another truck to pull his truck out of the shop.   By 03h00 the other truck arrived.  However, it was evident that the stricken truck would not leave without the building.  It took a few innovative plans to get it out of the building without damaging the building further. Only then could the driver’s body be removed. 

By 09h00 the tennant of the shop already started with emergency repairs to the walls.  Later the local Grade 2 class arrived in a neat row on an educational tour to see what  it looks like when a truck goes through a building.     

Workers from the nearby factory came with smaller trucks to work away the tons of fish that were scattered around.



While they were busy the school came out.  Two lads from the local primary school came walking by. 

“Hey, it stinks, né,”  observed the one. 

“Ja, just like old folks’ bums,” confirmed his friend.

Only by late afternoon the mechanical team from the SA Police Services finalised their investigation.   Thereafter the rather impressive exercise followed to get the truck back on its wheels. 

By 14h30 the truck was back on its wheels.  By 17h00 the rented security guard arrived to watch over the shop for the night.

On a sad little heap I found the personal belongings of the truck driver.  A coffee bottle, some extra clothes.  And a cap with the insignia:  “Skoonma se gaai” (a humorous / friendly version of “My mother-in-law’s a*se”).



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