Bridge accident in South Africa: three British tourists killed and another injured
Three British tourists were killed and another was seriously injured in a horrific accident in South Africa after their vehicle crashed over a bridge and dumped 75 feet into a river.
The two married couples were on their way to an airport to fly back to England after driving the famous 450-kilometer garden route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth on Monday afternoon.
Three of the four British were highly respected Christian charity bosses and the other was a senior elite £ 17,000 teacher per year at Christ Church Cathedral School in Oxford, Oxon.
Former clergyman Peter Harris, 67, who founded charity A Rocha International with his wife Miranda Harris (66), was the only one in the group to survive.
The mother of four Miranda was murdered together with their close friends Chris Naylor, 58, who is the Chief Executive Officer of A Rocha and his learned wife Susanna Naylor, 54.
Peter Harris (left), 67, survived the crash, but his wife Miranda (center), 66, was killed alongside good friend Chris Naylor (right), 58, and his wife Susanna
Accident victims Susanna Naylor, 54, and husband Chris Naylor, 58, both of whom died in the South Africa accident
The inverted wreck of the Toyota station wagon is half under water after a crash over the edge of the Swartkops bridge in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Both pastor Peter Harris and the driver are critical but stable after being rushed to St. George & # 39; s hospital in Port Elizabeth. They were still pulled from the wreck of their half-sunken silver station wagon.
The foursome had enjoyed a 10-day combination of adventure and working holiday in South Africa, where A Rocha field groups were visited and took the time to enjoy safaris in the wild.
They had started their journey home when their double car with Toyota station wagon and luggage cart collided with a Chrysler Neon when they crossed the Swartkops bridge.
Peter Harris, 67, who was left in a serious state after the crash in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
The Swartkops river bridge in Port Elizabeth, where three British tourists were killed when their vehicle crashed over the edge
The two vehicles rode in the same direction over the 300-meter-long bridge when it was thought that a gust of wind blew the trailer of the British vehicle into a car that was driving next to them.
The resulting impact turned the station wagon with the terrified Harris & # 39; s and Naylor & # 39; s in over the guardrail and crashed it 75 feet into the river breaking the roof.
Fellow motorists left their cars behind and ran down the dike, helped by the locals, waded deep water in the chest and pulled all the passengers out of the vehicle.
Tragically, the mother of three was Susanna Naylor, head of science at a prepress school in Oxfordshire and a former charity worker with A Rocha and her husband Chris dead.
Friend Peter Harris who survived was a former English teacher at £ 36,000 a year Christ's Church school in Horsham, Sussex, and a former Anglican clergyman in Liverpool.
His wife Miranda helped him set up the charity A Rocha – what & # 39; The Rock & # 39; means – who opened their first field study conservation project in Portugal 36 years ago in 1983.
Their worldwide Christian organization has spread to more than 20 countries, including the US, Brazil, South America, the Middle East, Australia, Canada and Africa and is based in the United Kingdom.
Victims Peter Harris, 67, who survived the crash and his wife Miranda, 66, who was killed. Harris is a former English teacher at £ 36,000 a year Christ's Church school in Horsham, Sussex, and a former Anglican clergyman in Liverpool
Car accident victim Peter Harris, 67, is an ornithologist and is depicted here with a bird of prey
The charity has an income of £ 5 million a year from government grants, trust funds, donations and churches and calls itself an & # 39; international network of environmental organizations with a Christian ethos & # 39;
The charity has 145 employees and a worldwide network of 850 volunteers and is looking for new countries to work in.
The Harris & # 39; s had spent their lives since 1983 growing the charity and traveling the world promoting his work in many different countries before settling back in the UK.
Among their many projects are the Captive Elephant Welfare Program in India, the Atewa Forest Project in Ghana, the Kenya Bird Map Project and helping to combat the fires in the Amazon.
They live in the village of West Lavington, Wilts, in a house that has been chosen to be close to the homes of their 4 adult children.
Victim Chris Naylor from Oxford, Oxon, is a former natural sciences teacher with a Masters Degree from Cambridge University. He joined the charity in 1997 and was named CEO in 2010.
His brilliant scholarly wife Susanna earned an MA in medicine from the University of Cambridge, where she met him and then moved south to graduate with a BA in clinical medicine at Oxford University.
She then graduated with an MA in Advanced Educational Practice at Oxford Brookes University, allowing her to become a teacher and in 1987 she married university beloved Chris.
The dedicated couple had been married for 32 years and after both degrees moved to Kuwait to become teachers, but fled after the Iraqi Saddam Hussein invaded in 1990.
When the war was over, they returned to Kuwait and then traveled through the Middle East to teach in Jordan and Lebanon before returning to the UK in 1997 to join the charity A Rocha.
Susanna, however, missed teaching and became head of science at Kitebrook Prep School in the Cotswolds and had just moved to the same position at Christ Church Cathedral School when she was murdered.
The historic boys' school was founded by King Henry VIII in 1546 and offers choirs for English cathedrals.
The four best friends who had known each other for more than 25 years were driven to the airport by a driver from the Kuzoko Lodge in the Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth.
They had spent two nights in the 15,000-acre game reserve with the Big 5 of lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinos, and elephants, enjoying daily game drives and walking safaris.
They were a short drive to the airport when a tragedy struck the 300-meter bridge across the Swartkops River below.
Eastern Cape Department of Transport spokesman Khuselwa Rantjie said the accident occurred Monday at 11.45 am and a culpable murder case had been opened.
The three victims were pulled out of the wreck and declared dead on the spot by a doctor and the two survivors were stretched back to the road and hurried to the hospital.
A Rocha International spokesperson said: “Peter and Miranda Harris, co-founders of A Rocha, and Chris Naylor, our CEO and his wife Susanna, were involved in a horrific car accident in South Africa.
& # 39; Miranda, Chris and Susanna did not survive. Peter and the driver of the car are treated in a local hospital and are in a stable state and we are waiting for further news.
& # 39; Above all, their families and friends are kept in our prayers. We know this is a big shock to everyone in the A Rocha family and to many others around the world & # 39 ;.
Peter Harris, 67, who survived a horrible traffic accident in South Africa where his wife Miranda Harris, 66, was killed
Susanna Naylor, 54, pictured with husband Chris Naylor, 58, both killed in the crash. The four best friends who had known each other for more than 25 years were driven to the airport by a driver from the Kuzoko Lodge in the Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth
An A Rocha member in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, where they have a center and who asked not to be mentioned, said: & I met them last week and they were wonderful people.
& # 39; They said they were on a dream vacation, although it was also a work trip and they said they ended it with a trip to the Addo Elephant National Park to see the Big 5.
& # 39; The co-founder Peter said he was crazy about wild birds and said he was looking forward to photographing them in Addo and told me there were more than 400 species in the wild.
& # 39; I can't believe that three of the nicest people took us that way and I pray for Peter to survive. These people were all devout Christians devoted to God.
& # 39; You can really wonder when people like them are taken from us in such tragic circumstances and we all pray for their children and friends in the UK, she said.
A spokesperson for Kuzuko Lodge, where the four had stayed, expressed his condolences to the two families involved.
The Naylor & # 39; s have three adult children Chloe, Joshua and Sam and the Harris & # 39; s have four adult children who all live near their Wiltshire home and have six grandchildren.
The three bodies will be flown to the UK after post mortars have been carried out to determine whether they have been killed by the impact of the water or by subsequent drowning.
. (tagsToTranslate) dailymail (t) news (t) South Africa