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It may well be some time before we know exactly what happened with Gavin Watson’s fatal crash on the road leading to the drop-off and parking sections of OR Tambo International Airport.
That’s if we ever do, because many of the details surrounding the crash have raised more questions than answers.
Watson’s own family is reported to have said that they believe he was murdered, and the first eyewitness to come forward said that he thought “it was someone who wanted to commit suicide”.
That was part of an interview on Power FM, and now two more people claiming to be eyewitnesses have approached News24 with their version of events:
The two eyewitnesses, who wished to remain anonymous, said they saw the car in the early hours of the morning – just after 05:00.
One witness said he saw the car on the side of the highway with its hazards on, waiting to turn back onto the road. Once Watson had made it onto the road, he started accelerating and passed the witness at a high speed.
The witness said as they approached the road to the airport’s drop-off zones, the Toyota collided with the pillar on the road just below them.
“The vehicle collided with the pillar of a bridge at a speed that was definitely above 100km/h because of the nature of the impact and noise thereafter.
“The car, after the collision, instantly faced sideways and was [smoking] but we could not go check because of my flight time,” the witness said.
The information about Watson’s car on the side of the road with the hazards on is new, and some of the details above are backed up by the second eyewitness News24 spoke with:
Another witness gave a similar account, saying he was on his way to the airport to drop off his aunt, approaching from the Boksburg side of the highway.
The witness said the crash was at a “massive speed”.
When the car approached the bend before the concrete pillar, it did not slow down. The witness heard no tyres screeching on the road, just a loud bang on impact.
“I thought that something was going to happen because he was going straight and the road was making a turn. The next moment I heard a massive bang.
“I dropped off my aunt and turned back around again to go back to the scene to see what’s going on, and the ambulance was already on the scene,” the witness said.
At the time, because of the lack of any attempt to slow down, the man suspected that the driver of the vehicle had suffered a heart attack, blacked out, or had willingly crashed into the pillar.
According to TimesLIVE, police investigating the crash are paying close attention to the crashed Toyota Corolla’s speedometer:
A police source, who is stationed at the airport and who was on the scene, said the force of the collision showed the vehicle was travelling at high speed.
“The speedometer was stopped at the 140km/h mark. It is clear that he was driving at speed. Whether this was the cause of the crash is not yet known. That will only come out from an analysis of the vehicle and potentially from postmortem results,” a police source told TimesLIVE.
Watson’s phone wasn’t found at the scene of the crash, and his family and co-workers had initially been unable to locate it.
In news that just broke, News24 reports that Watson’s phone was tracked on the day of the crash:
…Watson’s nephew Jared said the phone was in Germiston and then in Bryanston – in the evening, at around 19:00.
“We went with the police to find the phone but they could only locate it to a radius of apparently 30 to 50 metres. So we looked around in the dark and we couldn’t find it and then eventually we were no longer able to trace it,” Jared Watson said.
This could explain why no cellphone was found in Watson’s possession after he was killed.
Perhaps the phone was stolen from the scene, although this new information is likely to fuel further conspiracy theories.
Some doubts have also been cast on how the investigation into the wreckage of the car has been conducted. This video touches on the basics:
Prominent South African forensic investigator David Klatzow, in conversation with Kieno Kammies, said that “the photographs I’ve seen coming out of the initial car scene, suggest the investigation was not done as it should have been”.
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