LOCATION: Oudtshoorn – Western Cape
Whilst driving from Knysna to Cape Town via Oudtshoorn, and about 40km from Oudtshoorn, we came across a miracle right after it happened. A driver was proceeding from George towards Oudtshoorn and a KUDU suddenly sprang from the bush (afterwards we were able to find its tracks and the actual launch spot) and jumped right before the car. It was killed on impact.
Not only did it hit his car, it smashed the windscreen, tore a section of the roof away and flew right through the car, blowing open the rear hatch. The driver ducked instinctively as it happened and was able to avoid most of the carnage. He also held tightly onto the steering wheel, suffering only slight injury to one hand and a whack to the face from the airbag.
When he lifted his head he was on the gravel on the ‘wrong side of the road’ where he was able to stop the car without losing control.
The KUDU went right through the windscreen, leaving an awful mess on the way. The impact blew the hatchback as the KUDU left through the back of the car.
Photos by Dave D’Aguiar
BEST PRACTICE ACTIONS:
This is one of those rare unpreventable accidents that need to be planned for, even if it cannot be prevented. If you, through work or pleasure, have to travel long distances then ensure you are prepared.
Have a journey management plan including:
x Someone knowing when you leave and are expected to arrive at destination or stop off points.
x Have the route mapped out in advance and allow for breaks on the way to prevent fatigue.
x Carry relevant supplies of fuel, food, water, break-down equipment and tow rope.
x Ensure drivers are well rested and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
x Always have communication method or a reactive mechanism if periodic contact is not made.
x Don’t make unnecessary journeys on unlit roads/tracks during night time, travel during the day.