Following the death of Gaby Bouwer it seems that little was done to actually decrease the risk of death and injury on Kommetjie Road, now statistics have caught up with us again and someone else has had to pay the ultimate price for a) the general negligence of drivers and b) the ineptitude of authorities to do something about it. I was going to write my own piece about this killing (I won’t use the word accident anymore as this word implies that it was no-ones fault, which is clearly not the case) however a comment was left today on one of my previous posts, “Kommetjie road quarry road and 17th avenue still an accident black-spot”. The comment was left by Uga Carlini, a resident of Kommetjie Road who was there during events. Read it and remember it next time you are behind the wheel of a vehicle:
“I have been living on Kommetjie road, Fish Hoek for four years now and in my four years here I have seen, heard and experienced the most horrible car crashes, accidents and quite frankly murders on a residential road.
It feels like yesterday when a 17 year old girl’s life, walking her dog, was wiped by a speeding taxi. Just a few months ago, a dead pedestrian’s body was left for three hours before she was removed. Not to mention the cyclists being killed and hit by cars, many other hit and runs, and others being knocked over, here to tell the story but forever having to deal with the after effects of their injuries. Local residents in the area have all had a close call or have been witness to some horrific road event. Fish Hoek high school is a block down with hundreds of scholars crossing the Kommetjie Rd daily. My neighbour woke up at 4 in the morning to find a taxi driver, who fell asleep behind the wheel travelling at 160km a hour, took out three of his palm trees before he came to a halt through his wall. And turning into one’s driveway out of Kommetjie road, well that’s a nightmare for another day and a continuous near death experience! The amount of times, we had near hit and misses has been crazy to the point of us becoming so desensitised to it, that we just hope for every day to be an ok one accident wise. Cape Medical Response unit (whose premises are across the road from me) has as much a hard time with Kommetjie road incidents (usually speed related) than they do just trying to be able to pull out of their premises into Kommetjie road for the all important tasks they have!
And then there was yesterday, the 5th of June. We heard the most horrendous thud. No breaks, no screeching tyres. Just a thud and those few seconds of dead silence. We ran out and there they were, an old Fish Hoek favourite, dedicated father, husband and animal lover, in the middle of Kommetjie rd, dying. Tiger, his dog, struggling further down. One of his shoes was in front of our house, his body, just past 16th avenue. His arm split open, bones sticking out and yes read this because this is the reality of what is going on, on Kommetjie road. It is not pretty. It is not sugar coated. It is murder in its purest most gruesome way. And the car? The car that wiped these lives out so easily, so carelessly, only came to a halt past 14th avenue. The driver didn’t even break. He couldn’t, HE WAS GOING TO FAST! They just sat there. Not once did they bother to get out of their overloaded car to come and have a look at what they have done. NOT ONCE. We overheard the driver say ‘I was only going a 100km’. It is a 60 zone and he overtook on a solid white line. Straight into the man waiting to cross the road. Witnesses travelling on the road, was all over taken by this speeding sedan. In all instances on the solid line. And they all tell of how the man and his dog were flung into the air, like Ping-Pong balls. No chance. The driver drove over them. Through them, like they were not there, like it didn’t matter. Fish Hoek, does it? Matter? Enough for everyone to take a stand and speak out? Authorities? It looked like a bus hid the side of his car and the windscreen. No one could survive that…
We watched him die on the scene. We were helpless. Furious. So, so angry. Sad beyond words and quite frankly traumatised. Tiger, after incredible efforts from local vet Sue, at Fish Hoek Animal Clinic, died in his sleep last night.
We have begged. They have died. What the hell more is needed here? The corner of 16th avenue is a blind corner. A nursery with CHILDREN is on that corner. Cars have ploughed through walls there. Just three weeks ago, the street lamp was taken out.
Speed cameras, throughout Kommetjie rd! More traffic lights. Traffic officers. Speed bumps. Traffic circles. The military if you have to. IT IS THAT SERIOUS!
The silly little left hand turn lane executed at 17th avenue after the 17 year old was murdered, has done NOTHING. Nothing but create a left hand lane overtaking zone for lawless taxi drivers. Gosh, how do you people even get up in the mornings knowing what has happened there, and that’s how you try and solve it? Spoken to her parents at all? Dared too? Because yes, the municipality/traffic department is to blame here for not doing something about this horrible, terrible death trap!
You would prefer for me to be nice, civil, sweet in my approach? Decent, not so angry, not seemingly aggressive? Well I tell you what, you spend a Sunday morning watching someone die, who really never deserved it, whose life was ended so savagely without being able to do anything because those who can do something about this situation, the ones in power HAS NOT. How does one ‘rest in peace’? How do you?
DA we voted for you. What are you going to do? And how do you make right what has happened here after we have begged and asked for so long. The proof is in the statistics. And to the family of the victim, I am so, so sorry, may their deaths not be in vain.
Uga Carlini KOMMETJIE ROAD, Fish Hoek, needless to say…
Please add your voice, either email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop your letter off at Fish Hoek vet, 77 Kommetjie RD or in the post box on the silver gate 93 Kommetjie rd.”
I am also going to send a link to this article to our ward counsellors as it is high time that the discussions and meetings about this lethal stretch of road came to an end and something positive was done. As Frederich Nietzsche so famously said, “Fear is the mother of morality,” and it seems to be especially poignant in this case. Unless drastic and draconian measures are put in place I am certain that drivers will not improve their habits and that this will lead to more deaths on Kommetjie Road.