The N3 at Van Reneens pass is closed, after three people were tragically killed in two separate crashes. One of the deceased is a one year old child. It has been reported that seven vehicles – three trucks, three taxis and one light motor vehicle were involved.

“There is diesel spillage on the N3, from a tanker that is leaking,” said KZNEMS Robert Mackhenzi. The N3 is closed indefinitely at this stage and light motor vehicles can use the R74 Oliver’s Hoek Pass. Manager Ricardo Muthumaree, from Dave’s Towing Services, told the Ladysmith Herald, that the road is very slippery, because of the diesel spillage. “Vehicles are sliding all over the road and we have already had three to four smaller fender benders, because the vehicles are sliding all over the road.” Van Reenen Police will be investigating a case of culpable homicide. The deceased have not yet been identified.

N3 TC route have released the following update:

Full road closure on N3 Toll Route at Van Reenen’s Pass causes heavy traffic delays. Avoid this section of the N3 Toll Route (if possible). Two multi-vehicle crashes with fatalities at Van Reenen, between Harrismith and Ladysmith, are causing severe traffic congestion along this section of the N3 Toll Route. The entire road had to be closed for recovery.

At the top of Van Reenen’s Pass, in a southbound direction, a four-kilometre diesel spill is compounding the traffic problems currently being experienced.

Mop up operations are underway – all resources have been deployed, and good progress is being made, but it is expected to take a few hours before the entire route can be cleared and re-opened to traffic.

N3 Toll Concession (N3TC), the company managing the N3 Toll Route between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, strongly advises motorists to either delay their journeys or to make use of the R74 (Oliviershoek Pass) as an alternative route.

“Drive with care. Wet weather conditions are being experienced along the route,” says Con Roux, N3TC’s commercial manager.

Contact N3TC’s 24-hour emergency helpline for traffic information on: 0800 63 4357 (0800 N3 HELP) or get regular traffic updates on Twitter: @N3Route.