Rocklands residents are reeling after three of their neighbours died when the Golden Arrow Bus they were travelling in overturned on Jakes Gerwel Drive on Monday September 25.
Marlize van Rooi, Amy Carelse, 30, and Yarick Damons, 28, all three from Rocklands, were on a bus en route to Century City just after 8am.
Mr Damons’s dad Theodore said they shared a grin just before he left for work.
“I was in the bedroom and he popped in to ask me something and he had this grin or smile which we shared. He greeted and then he left. I will never forget that last look,” he said.
Yarick is survived by both his parents and three brothers. He was the second eldest.
William Carelse, the brother of Amy, said she is survived by her seven-year-old daughter, her father, Amy’s mom and three siblings.
He last saw his sister last Thursday, September 22.
“She was always a warm person, had a smile on her face and was always helping people.
“Even her colleagues said that when they weren’t at work she would check up on them,” he said.
It was their mother’s birthday yesterday, Tuesday September 26, which was rather bitter sweet because she had to identify her daughter’s body on the same day.
Mr Carelse said he saw footage of the overturned bus but did not realise his sister was one of the fatalities until her manager called him.
“She always took the same bus at 7.50am to get to work,” he said.
She worked at Clicks in Vangate Mall.
Shieraaj Lakay, the paternal uncle of Shineeka Jacobs, 25, from Rocklands, one of the survivors, said his niece was in a critical but stable condition.
She had undergone an operation on Monday afternoon.
Mr Lakay said his father was in shock and that her youngest brother, 3, keeps asking when she is coming home.
“She had an op on her pelvis, left arm, spinal injury and had internal bleeding. Her face is quite swollen but she is recovering. She opened her eyes this morning and moved her legs that is a good sign,” he said.
John Dammert, Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) spokesman, said three people died and 21 others were injured.
He said that SAPS was investigating the accident, which would confirm the cause of the accident.
“It should be noted that the inclement weather conditions, which caused roadways to be flooded adversely, affected driving,“ he added.
The Plainsman asked what recourse the surviving passengers would have in covering medical bills or claims for loss of income.
Mr Dammert said that the bus company would help with processing claims via the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
The bus was travelling from Town Centre, in Eastridge, and was en route to Century City when it overturned just before the Klipfontein Road intersection.
Mr Dammert said the driver suffered minor injuries and was receiving counselling.
He said the outcome of the official SAPS investigation would assist in determining the appropriate sanction.
“The driver has been suspended and will be subject to the company’s internal disciplinary processes,” he said.
Mr Dammert said that GABS staff have visited the families of the deceased and would assist with funeral arrangements.
“GABS staff is also following up on the injured who have been hospitalised,” he said.
Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi, Western Cape SAPS spokesman, said Athlone police responded to a complaint, where they found a bus lying on its side in the road.
“They immediately requested the services of the emergency services.
“Three passengers sustained fatal injuries and were declared deceased on the scene by the medical personnel whilst 35 passengers sustained serious injuries and were transported to nearby hospitals for medical treatment,” he said.
A case of reckless and negligent driving as well as culpable homicide is being investigated.
Anyone with information can call Crime Stop on 086 001 0111.