Family dies in horror crash

Heather Adams,

What was supposed to be a joyous celebration has turned into a time of mourning for a Grassy Park family.

Peter Adams, 85, his wife Brenda, 79, and daughter Heather, 57 were killed in a car accident on Sunday October 20 on the corner of Ottery and Strandfontein roads on their way to a special church ceremony in Elsies River.

The Adams family, along with their priest Joshua Jasaga, his wife Janine and their two-year-old daughter Marsheline were in the car when it was hit by a Ford Ranger bakkie and sent careening into oncoming traffic and onto George Road in Lotus River.

The Josagas and three passengers in the bakkie were transported to the hospital for treatment.

Mr Josaga’s son Jeftha said his father was recovering, having suffered cracked ribs and head trauma and Marsheline was recovering from a few scratches and a bump to the head. Her mother is, however, still in hospital and has been in and out of consciousness.

Grassy Park police spokesperson Wynita Kleinsmith confirmed a case of culpable homicide is under investigation.

Mr Adams was a teacher at Zeekoevlei and Sullivan primary schools and principal at Hillwood Primary School in Lavender Hill.

He was also a community worker as well as a minister at the Old Apostolic Unity Church in Grassy Park.

Mr and Ms Adams would have celebrated their 48th anniversary on Friday October 25 but instead the couple were buried with their eldest daughter on Saturday October 26.

Vilia Christian, the couple’s daughter, said the family had also been finalising preparations for Ms Adams’ 80th birthday celebrations, which would have been on Friday November 1.

“They were so excited to celebrate their anniversary and my mother was excited for her party which was going to be held this weekend. They were very loving and family – orientated. They were always at each other’s side and their home was open to anyone. Heather was one of the most amazing people and helped raise our children. She was a saint and amazing sister,” said an emotional Ms Christian.

The couple’s other daughter Moira Prins said the family were still in disbelief.

“We did not expect to lose our parents in this way. They were great people, did a lot for the community and went the extra mile for anyone in need. They will be missed,” she said.

The couple are survived by their four daughters, son and six grandchildren.

Greschen Chetty, who lives adjacent to Strandfontien Road, was one of the first people on the scene.

“I was sitting in the lounge and I heard a loud crash and when I went out to look I initially only saw a bakkie. The car was turning into Ottery Road to go through Schaapkraal but was knocked into George Way, it was devastating,” said Mr Chetty.

It is, however, not the first accident he has seen at the intersection.

“Accidents happen here almost weekly, if not weekly then at least two times a month. The intersection is so dangerous because drivers come speeding down Strandfontein Road and at night people drag race down the road. Many nights we are unable to sleep because of the ongoing drag racing. Cameras need to be installed to monitor and catch those who race down this road,” he said.

Sharon Damons, another resident who lives off Strandfontein Road, has also witnessed many accidents in the street.

“If people drive responsibly we would not have the carnage on this road. So many drivers race down the road thinking they’re at Killarney racecourse and by the time they get to the intersection the robot turns amber or red – by then it is too late to stop. The onus is on all drivers drive responsibly and for those who do speed to be held accountable but a camera traffic camera will not help because all these drivers do is slow down where the camera is,” said Ms Damons.

Ottery ward councillor William Akim said the City of Cape Town has not received official complaints recently but said the area is “problematic” and the City is aware of speeding and racing.

Last month traffic officers clamped down on illegal street racing in Strandfontein, Grassy Park and Lentegeur where 103 fines for various by-law transgressions were issued.

* In a statement released by the City, Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said illegal street racing is worrying and Traffic Services will keep on enforcing the relevant by-laws to ensure that law-abiding citizens are protected.

Anyone with information about the accident can contact Detective Sergeant Goldsmith on 073 486 9205.