By Bianca Silva and Ciro De Siena
A tragic accident in the early hours of Sunday morning, August 19, left one Rhodes student dead and one critically injured. Deborah Leanne Monckton died at the scene, corner of Worcester and Somerset streets. Passenger Melindah Sango survived but is in a critical condition.
Sango was transferred to Livingston Hospital in Port Elizabeth early on Sunday with severe injuries to her leg and hip. The students were traveling down Somerset Street towards African street when they veered off the road by St Andrews College and drove into a tree. The driver, 20-yearold Monckton, is suspected to have died on impact. Third year student Malcolm Freeman was eyewitness to the accident. “I was about 100m behind when I saw a big puff of smoke. When I arrived at the scene she [Monckton] still had a pulse, but there was no way of getting her out of the car.”
Freeman said that a St. Andrews security guard alerted the authorities and that the ambulance, police and fire department all arrived in less than 4 minutes; however Monckton was “already gone by then”. The police report from 6:30am on Sunday states the jaws of life were used to remove both students from the Hyundai car. The police report also states Rhodes authorities were present at the scene.
Both students were from Zimbabwe, studying BA degrees and in their third year. Their next of kin have been informed.