A man and a woman were killed on Saturday morning when they were hit by a taxi while riding a tandem bicycle in Isando on the Gauteng East Rand.
Janine Hopkins died at the scene while Frans Duys was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Hopkins was the principal of Boksburg High School and Duys previously owned the famous Tour de Frans Cycles in Boksburg.
Hopkins and Duys rode with three more cyclists early Saturday morning. They were driving in Isando Road when a taxi apparently ignored a traffic light at about 6am and struck them at the intersection with Electro Drive.
“I heard screaming and then heard a bang,” says Bruce Repsold, who drove a short distance ahead of Hopkins and Duys. He saw the taxi as he was crossing the intersection and thought the taxi might have collided with a car.
“I immediately turned around and drove to the intersection. Janine lay in the road and Frans lay close to the traffic light. Janine didn’t move, but I could see on her heart monitor that she still had a pulse. “
The other two cyclists, meanwhile, went to help Duys. “I sat down with Janine and called the emergency services.”
Repsold said paramedics arrived on the scene much later after calling several times. At that time, Hopkins’ pulse was very weak and, according to Repsold, she was turning blue. “Her heart was still beating and I thought she was just unconscious.”
When paramedics arrived, they immediately began to treat Hopkins and Duys. However, Hopkins was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
“French struggled to breathe or speak.” Repsold said Duys was considered transporting a helicopter to a nearby hospital, but was eventually rushed to an hospital by ambulance. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Repsold said the taxi driver was on the scene. “Taxi bosses arrived later and the taxi driver also removed the taxi’s license plates at one stage. The taxi’s windshield was broken and it was later removed and left along the road just before the taxi was driven away. “
Repsold said the taxi driver was not arrested even though police were on scene. “He didn’t even look like he once repented.”
Neither the Ekurhuleni metro police, the Ekurhuleni emergency services or the police could comment on the incident.