Sunday, March 08, 2009

Organs donated following death of cyclist hit by a taxi

South African taxi drivers cited for unabated reckless driving

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Taxi victim dies, but he brings hope to others

By Brian Hayward The Weekend Post

PORT Elizabeth university student Jason Kruger, 20, who was run down by a taxi on Tuesday last week and declared brain-dead on Thursday night, was kept alive yesterday afternoon until a specialist team of doctors could recover his vital organs for transplant purposes.

Kruger, of Sedgefield, was on the road to recovery after a taxi knocked him off his bicycle at a pedestrian crossing near the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University when he suddenly took a turn for the worse this week.

After being knocked down he was dragged about 30 metres before the taxi came to a stop.

Greenacres Hospital spokesman Adele Kennedy said doctors from Cape Town were flown in to help with the organ harvesting process.

“His parents (Carrie and Zwaai) agreed to organ procurement. They are, of course, very distressed,” said Kennedy.

One Eastern Cape recipient had already been identified.

Police will now change the charges against the driver accused of running Kruger down, Luthando Bonkolo, 39, who appeared in court last week. He now faces charges of culpable homicide, drunk driving and reckless and negligent driving.

But despite the horrific accident which came just days after the eighth anniversary of the death of student Vanessa Baldwin, whose motorcycle collided with a taxi near NMMU in 2001, reckless driving by taxi operators continues unabated.

Yesterday, Stephen Johnson, 28, was admitted to Greenacres Hospital after a taxi knocked him off his motorcycle in North End. He sustained minor injuries.

On Friday last week, Mzimkhulu Socenywa, 39, was knocked down in Njoli Square and dragged along five metres allegedly by a drunk and unlicensed taxi driver. He is still in a coma.

In Pretoria yesterday, residents protested outside the Union Buildings against reckless taxi drivers after the death last month of Bernadine Kruger, 16, who was killed, allegedly by a taxi, while riding to school on a scooter.

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