Durban – A Stanger mother was inconsolable after she was told four of her family members, including her 9-year-old daughter, had died in a car crash on the R74 on Saturday.

Daffanee Moodley, 33, was a passenger in a BMW driven by her husband, Seeran Moodley, 35, an IT specialist.

Their children, Adelle, 9, and Zakey, who is just over 18 months old, were also in the car.

Adelle was a Grade 1 pupil at Stanger Manor Primary School.

The Moodleys were on their way to Glenhills in KwaDukuza to drop off Daffanee’s parents, Daniel Chetty, 58, a retired mechanic, and Shakila, 56, a housewife.

According to Chetty’s brother, Manuel, the family had spent the day together.

He said Daniel was in the front passenger seat. Shakila, Daffanee and the children were in the back. At a bend on the R74, their vehicle collided with a Mercedes-Benz.

“We’re not sure how the crash occurred but we know it was at a high impact. I went to the scene and it was horrific. The BMW was written off. Daniel, Shakila, Seeran and Adelle sustained severe facial and head injuries as well as broken bones. They died at the scene.”

Daffanee and Zakey were transported to General Justice Gizenga Mpanza Regional Hospital.

She remains in a critical condition, while Zakey was discharged. His front teeth were broken and he suffered lacerations on his tongue. With his mom still in hospital he is in the care of relatives.

Manuel Chetty said Daffanee was struggling to accept the loss.

“Daffanee is conscious and can string a few sentences together. She fractured her ribs and sustained injuries to her head and face. Excessive air has built up in her lungs, making it difficult to breathe.”

He said because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Daffanee was not allowed visitors but a relative was permitted to see her and told her about the deaths.

“She was inconsolable and completely broke down. She lost her parents, her husband and her daughter. Seeran was her rock and the breadwinner. He was a devoted husband and father.

“As for Adelle, she and Daffanee shared a close bond. We are praying that the news of their deaths does not impact too badly on her recovery. As a family, we are in pain because we cannot provide physical support to her.”

Chetty described Daniel and Shakila as “gems”.

“They were a lovely couple. They were always willing to assist those in need. Our family is devastated. Losing one family member is traumatic but losing four at once does not seem real.”

He said the funerals were being planned for later this week.

“We are hoping Daffanee’s doctor will allow her to attend, even if it’s just for a few moments. She needs to be able to say goodbye to her family.”

Ticko Ayer, from the KwaDukuza Inter-Faith Committee, said the R74 was notorious for accidents. “Over the years, there have been many tragic accidents. Last year, five boys died in an accident. We held prayers at the roadside for people’s safety. We also wrote to the Department of Transport for help and they put in speed bumps and breakers.”

Ayer said speed traps were needed to catch motorists who drove recklessly.

The driver of the Mercedes-Benz survived the crash.

Captain Nqobile Gwala, a police spokesperson, said KwaDukuza SAPS was investigating a case of culpable homicide. No arrests have been made. – POST