“We can say thank you to God,” said Zoleka Mbeki, referring to the accident at the Engen Garage in Old Paarl Road where a truck crashed into the roof, causing part of it to collapse.
Ms Mbeki, of Gugulethu, is an employee at the garage in Brackenfell and she believes it was a miracle that no one was injured when the roof fell on top of the pumps.
Staff at the neighbouring businesses echoed Ms Mbeki’s wonder. “At that time of day, there are usually a lot of cars at the garage,” an employee at the tyre shop next door said.
Yet, when the accident occurred on Tuesday June 27, at just before 2pm, there were no cars at the pumps and none of the staff were nearby. Even the driver of the truck escaped injury.
The garage owner, Brian van Sittert, said this was the worst damage the garage had seen since he took it over in 1991.
The station has been in the area for 36 years, he said.
Mr Van Sittert said, on the day, the truck driver turned into the garage to make a U-turn back onto Old Paarl Road.
He showed the Northern News the CCTV footage of the accident.
The truck is seen on Old Paarl Road, driving towards Kraaifontein, a few minutes before the accident.
The same truck then pulls into the garage but this time going towards Bellville. Within seconds of the truck pulling into the garage, the roof collapses on top of the pumps. A part of the truck was too high, Mr Van Sittert said.
Ms Mbeki said the truck struck the corner of the roof. She did not witness the actual crash, she said, because she was in the back office on a lunch break at the time. “I just heard a loud bang,” she said. “I came out and I saw everything just falling.”
Mr Van Sittert is already repairing the station and said that the pumps will be opened as soon as they are fixed. The station will carry on serving customers, without a roof, until that too is replaced, Mr Van Sittert said.
According to Captain FC Van Wyk, of the provincial police media office, an accident report was lodged.