Van-truck crash kills 30 in central South Africa

AP News
Posted: Dec 10, 2011 8:30 AM
Van-truck crash kills 30 in central South Africa

Police say the driver of an overloaded van lost control, veered into the oncoming lane and collided with a truck in central South Africa, leaving 30 people dead.

Police spokesman Mmako Mophiring says 29 of those killed early Saturday were passengers on the van, which was certified to carry 23 but was carrying 35. A truck passenger also died. Both drivers survived the crash near Harrismith, about 190 miles (300 kilometers) south of Johannesburg.

The van was traveling some 500 miles (850 kilometers) from Johannesburg to Umtata. Multiple-fatality accidents are common at year end, when many urban South Africans undertake long road journeys, sometimes using unsafe but cheap taxi van services, to spend Christmas and New Year with family in rural areas.