Rescuers had to abseil 30 metres down into a valley to rescue a woman who fell off a bridge outside Durban.
Image: via Facebook
A 20-year-old woman died in hospital on Saturday morning after sustaining critical injuries when she fell off the ledge of the N3 bridge near Giba Gorge outside Durban on Friday night.
Earlier it was speculated that Andile Meyiwa was thrown off the bridge during an argument with her boyfriend.
However police issued a statement on Saturday afternoon stating that Meyiwa had fallen off the bridge and that no foul play was suspected in her death.
“Meyiwa of Nqeto Reserve together with her two 18-year-old friends left home and proceeded to Durban to inquire at colleges for further education.
“At about 18:00 the same day, they decided to go home. They hitchhiked a lift in a blue VW Golf with unknown registration. En route the driver offered the three girls alcohol which they consumed,” KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele said.
The three women then decided to get out of the vehicle.
“The vehicle drove away, leaving the girls. The deceased then phoned her boyfriend to pick them up from the N3. The boyfriend suggested that they walk towards the toll plaza where it would be convenient to be picked up. By this time the girls were intoxicated,” Mbele said.
Meyiwa then got onto the ledge of the bridge and jokingly told her friends that she would jump off the bridge.
“The two friends continued to walk leaving the deceased to walk on the ledge of the bridge. The two friends stopped and told the deceased to get off and they proceeded. The deceased then fell off the bridge into the gorge below,” Mbele said.
Durban search and rescue unit and several other private rescue teams were called out for the high angle rescue.
“Rescuers abseiled down 30 metres to the valley below, locating the victim. Paramedics stabilised her before being hauled up via a rope rescue system in a rescue stokes basket.
“She was transported to hospital for further treatment, but unfortunately died in the early hours of this morning,” a police source said.
Mbele said Meyiwa’s mother reported the incident to Hillcrest police on Saturday morning.
“The statements from the two friends were obtained. Next of kin informed. No foul play suspected at this stage.”