Dad says son killed in bus crash was looking forward to seeing grandfather | - South Africa News

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Tyrique Tyler Nortjie with his parents Chante and Vimal. Supplied
Durban – Hours after he kissed and hugged his son goodbye, Vimal Mahabeer received the devastating news that the child was killed in a bus crash in Welkom.

Tyrique Tyler Nortjie, 3, was one of eight people who lost their lives after an Intercape bus overturned at the corners of Arrarat and Alma roads in the Free State city last Monday.

The bus driver, 32, hanged himself on a nearby tree.

Tyrique, who was travelling with his mother, Chante Nortjie, 24, to Kimberley, was stuck under the bus and sustained severe head injuries. Chante sustained injuries to her head and ribs, and fractured an arm.

They were taken to the Welkom Medical Clinic where Tyrique died. Chante was discharged on Thursday.

Mahabeer, 26, a sales consultant at Etete, near Stanger, said: “My wife was travelling to Kimberley to take care of her dad, who had been discharged from hospital.”

He said Tyrique boarded the bus at about 8pm and could not contain his excitement to see his grandfather. “He hugged me tightly and I gave him a kiss goodbye, as they settled into their seats.

“That evening, Chante messaged me to say Tyrique had fallen asleep and she intended doing the same.

“We said goodnight and ended the conversation.”

In the morning, she called to inform him about the accident and that their son was in a serious condition.

Tyrique Tyler Nortjie with his parents Chante and Vimal. Picture: Supplied

Mahabeer and family members drove to the clinic, but his son had died before they arrived.

“I was devastated. Tyrique was the light of our lives. We were looking forward to celebrating his fourth birthday in August.”

He said his son loved watching cartoons and for his funeral on Saturday they had a Spider-Man theme as he was his favourite superhero.

“I am trying to be strong for Chante, as she is not doing well. Inside I feel broke and am struggling to keep it together.”

Mahabeer said while the owners of Intercape had sent through their condolences, it was not enough.

“Those buses need to be shut down. This isn’t the first time there has been such a horrific accident involving those buses. How many more people need to die and how many more families have to go through what Chante and I are going through before the Department of Transport intervenes?”

Intercape spokesperson Pieter Louw said the bus was roadworthy and the company would co-operate with investigations into the crash.


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