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14 September 2011 at 17:43 - Posted by Anonymous

Driver faces attempted murder charge


The taxi driver leaves the scene for Douglasdale police station after allegedly dragging and seriously injuring a woman in Lonehi;;, Fourways. Photo: Steve Lawrence

The minibus taxi driver who allegedly knocked down a young advocate in Lonehill, Fourways, will be charged with attempted murder, her family's lawyer said in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

“A charge of attempted murder has been added to that of reckless or negligent driving,” Tracey Lomax, lawyer for Kim McCusker's family, said.

She was speaking ahead of the first appearance, in the Randburg Magistrate's Court, of the man who allegedly knocked down and injured McCusker on Tuesday morning.

McCusker, 25, was hit by a taxi and dragged under the vehicle for several hundred metres.

McCusker's uncle, Willem Hijbeek, attended court proceedings. Surrounded by lawyers Hijbeek said he would go straight to Life Fourways Hospital – where McCusker remained in intensive care – after the court appearance. The family would issue a statement later in the day.

McCusker and her fiancé, named by The Star as Lawrence Grobler, were driving to gym on Tuesday morning when a taxi hit the back of their bakkie. Grobler was exchanging details with the taxi driver, when the taxi pulled off, hitting McCusker.

On Tuesday chief executive of the Lonehill Residents' Association, Rob Gillespie, said the taxi driver alleged Grobler assaulted him. This was the reason he had given for driving off, hitting McCusker.

It had not been established whether he had laid a charge of assault against Grobler.

Lomax said McCusker was in a stable condition with multiple fractures and internal injuries.

“A cage was placed around her leg, her shoulder is broken and she has facial injuries.”

She did not know the nature of McCusker's internal injuries.

On Wednesday morning McCusker's mother, Patricia, said the immediate family would not be involved at the taxi driver's first appearance, as they were focusing on her daughter's recovery. She asked that the public pray for her daughter.

On Tuesday afternoon the McCusker family released a statement in which they said they would pursue a charge of attempted murder against the taxi driver.

Lomax said the case was expected to begin around 2pm. – Sapa

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