Three teenagers have been arrested for throwing a concrete block from the Candella Road Bridge on to a car travelling on the N3 below, killing a Durban woman on Tuesday night.
Police Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge said the youths were arrested on Wednesday afternoon.
The woman was a passenger in a vehicle travelling in the westbound carriageway.
The block, which reportedly had steel rods sticking out of it, crashed through the car’s windscreen and landed on her midriff, causing serious internal injuries. She died at St Augustine’s Hospital a few hours after being admitted.
A woman travelling with her two children, aged 7 and 10, escaped the same fate a few minutes later. Another block fell on her car but glanced off her windscreen.
Mdunge said the youths were arrested at Cato Manor.
“They are juveniles. Police intelligence led to the identification and arrest of the suspects. They will appear in court tomorrow (today), once the charges have been finalised,” he said. The three are likely to face murder and malicious damage to property charges.
News of the arrest came after The Mercury spoke to two people, one of them metro police Senior Constable Thandeka Ngema, who said they witnessed the incident.
Ngema said it appeared the blocks were taken from the side of the bridge, which is under construction.
She was alerted by a neighbour, who had seen the boys throw the blocks from the bridge. The man refused to be named, saying he feared for his family’s safety.
“I saw three young boys on the bridge, throwing blocks on the highway. They are about 15 years old. I shouted at them and they ran away. I got into my car and notified Thandeka. We went to look for them, but they ran into a bush when they saw us and we couldn’t find them.
“We went back to the N3, which is when we saw the vehicles that had been damaged by the blocks. Paramedics at the scene said six cars were hit,” the man said.
Ngema said the boys lived in Bonela and went to Bonela Secondary School. She said they often gathered at the bridge and alleged that they smoked whoonga, a highly addictive drug made of the antiretroviral stocrin, dagga and several other substances, including chemicals found in rat poison.
Ngema and her neighbour said they were prepared to come forward as witnesses.
“I don’t know their (the boys’) names, but I would be able to point them out because I know them from the neighbourhood. I’m prepared to come forward as a witness, I’m also a road user,” she said.
Three people narrowly escaped death on the N2 in May this year when a rock came crashing through their windscreen and landed inside the car. However, nobody was hurt. The driver swerved to avoid a block lying in the road at the Kingsway Hospital bridge when the rock hit the windscreen.
In 2002, another Durban family had a similar brush with death when a concrete block was dropped on their car from the Candella Road bridge. – The Mercury