March 08 2010 at 03:22PM
By Natasha Prince
Three cyclists have been killed and another is recovering in hospital after a bakkie ploughed into them as they rode along the R62 near Oudtshoorn this morning.
It is believed that the bakkie was trying to overtake a truck when it swerved and rammed into a group of cyclists just after 6am today.
Richard Botha, the Eden District’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) rescue manager, said the three, two men and a woman, were declared dead when rescuers arrived at the scene just before 6.30am.
A paramedic at the scene said the legs of two of the victims had been severed.
Botha said: “We had received reports that the four cyclists were out on a normal training route; we assume (this) because they were dressed in cycling clothing.
“What could have happened was that the bakkie overtook the truck and knocked into them.”
He said the cyclists’ bodies were on the left-hand side of the road, indicating that they had probably been heading downhill and the bakkie had been approaching them.
Botha said the fourth cyclist had been treated for lacerations and bruises.
He had been treated by paramedics and then transported by Metro EMS to the Oudtshoorn Hospital.
Photographer Hans van der Veen said that when he arrived at the accident scene at about 9am today, the last of the smashed bicycles was being loaded into a police van.
Van der Veen said the Isuzu bakkie had been badly damaged, its bullbar pushed out and its front windscreen shattered.
He said he had been told by people at the scene that nine cyclists had been riding in the group.
Fred Kruger, who works in a cycling shop in Oudtshoorn, said the road was a popular training route for cyclists.
“It’s a very long straight road and is used seven days a week by cyclists,” he said.
The Western Cape’s Transport MEC, Robin Carlisle, announced on Friday that he was looking at pushing through legislation that would make it illegal for motorists to pass within 1.5m of cyclists.