PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - About 60 children escaped with their lives on Monday when the bus they were travelling in was involved in an accident on the N2 in Plettenberg Bay.
The youngsters, along with several teachers and two bus drivers, were travelling from Cape Town to East London to participate in a national drum majorette championship when the accident occurred in front of Thyme and Again farm stall on the outskirts of the town.
10 Children hospitalised
Ten children and one of the drivers were hospitalised following the crash.
According to Plett Watch's Marius Venter, two American tourists were travelling along the same stretch of the N2 ahead of the bus.
"They suddenly became unsure about where to turn off and subsequently came to a complete standstill in the road at Thyme and Again," Venter said.
The bus driver was unable to stop the bus in time and hit the tourists' vehicle. The impact was on the left-hand side of the vehicle which sent the tourists crashing into a nearby bakkie.
The bus then veered off the embankment at Thyme and Again hitting several trees along the way before coming to a standstill. "If you look at the damage caused to the bus, it is a miracle that everyone survived," Venter said.
He also commended the bus driver's ability behind the wheel.
Venter said the 10 children were hospitalised in Knysna for mostly shock and observation, while the bus driver was admitted to the Plett MediClinic for a suspected broken leg and lacerations to his hands. According to Venter, the community banded together to assist the rest of the children with food and a place to sleep at the Plett Dutch Reformed Church while they awaited a bus dispatched from Cape Town to continue their journey.
Plettenberg Bay Crime Prevention Association (PBCPA) operations head Otto Olivier said the incident highlighted the "cohesion" among all security and emergency teams.
'Plett pulled together'
"We are so thankful for the amazing support from all the medical staff, Medlife, ER24, PBCPA, NSRI, all the trauma counsellors, the Bitou fire department, the Bitou Municipality, Plett Security Rapid Response, Plett NG Church, fire management units, Wittedrift Neighbourhood Watch Group (NWG), Crags Support and NWG and Plett Watch," Olivier said.
"As usual the Plett community once again respond and assisted beyond what one can ever hope for.
So many people opened their hearts, giving their time and dug deep into their pockets. A big thank you to Spur, Pick n Pay, Melville Spar, Checkers and Wimpy for the all food and drinks."
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