A family from Worcester, in the Western Cape, is still in shock after their son died in a horror crash. The accident also claimed two other lives. Willis Smith, 27, was a member of the provincial traffic department in Worcester. He died when his state vehicle was involved in a motor vehicle crash on Nekkies Road. The family last saw Willis at 07:00 am on Friday morning. Shirley Smith, the 60-year-old mother of Willis, said he came to her house to bring her some money. “I got up just after 4am to get his lunch, fruit, and goodies ready before he left for work just before 6am. And just before 7am, he arrived at home, gave me money for the month and left.”
The devastated mother said he told her to buy herself some clothes with his Truworths card. “He also gave me his Truworths card as earlier in the week he bought me a top and jeans, but I wanted to exchange the jeans. He then told me: ‘Mommy, go buy you clothes,’ and it was the last time I saw him,” she said.
Shirley is a mother of three, but Willis was her only son. She said that he was her best friend and she could share everything and anything with him. She was feeling particularly sleepy on Friday after Willis left. When she finally gathered the strength to take her one daughter to the mall, there was a knock at the door. “Willis’s father’s eldest sister and a relative were knocking loudly at the door. They told me to come quick as Willis was in an accident. I was shocked. I asked if he was okay, what had happened, and they couldn’t say anything,” she said.
Smith’s father, Willis Smith senior, a police colonel at the Worcester South African Police Service (SAPS), was notified by the tow truck agency of his son’s accident and rushed to the scene. “I was the first police official on the scene. There were paramedics and traffic officers on the scene. He was on his way to an accident scene when he crashed. There are mixed reports about witnesses saying he had a tyre burst and another stating his tyre burst after something in the road pierced his tyre. I am just glad he was not reckless as he was in his lane as he should have been,” Colonel Smith said. Willis senior said he knew his son would not make it when he watched paramedics attempt to resuscitate him, there was too much blood flowing from Willis Junior’s head. “I really feel sad for the other family who also lost loved ones in this crash. Both our families are broken. I will go visit the other family to convey our condolences,” the Colonel said.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel André Traut said the accident occurred at about 2.45pm. “It is alleged that a traffic vehicle collided with a civilian vehicle. The male traffic officer, aged 27, succumbed to death as well as two female occupants of the civilian vehicle aged 22 and one of unknown age. An injured person was admitted to hospital. The exact cause of the accident is yet to be determined and a culpable homicide case was registered,” Traut said.
Willis Junior is described as a respectable, obedient and loving person who always put others before himself. His life’s mission was to take care of his parents as much as possible.