Jan de Wee’s legs were cut off where the freight train went over him.
Relatives and friends say they suspect the 52-year-old handyman stumbled and couldn’t get up in time to escape the oncoming train near Houwhoek Inn outside Grabouw on Friday afternoon.
“Maybe he knocked his head and was unconscious,” speculates Jan’s niece Wilmine Browers, 30.
Jan lived for a few minutes after the accident.
“It was horrible to see him like that,” says Wilmine.
Jan’s colleague Roseline Kock, 43, says the train driver asked her for a blanket to cover Jan.
“His upper body was outside the tracks and his legs were cut off where the train drove over him,” says a shocked Roseline.
The incident happened less than a kilometre from where a freight train collided with Richard September’s car at a railway crossing on Lebanon Farm recently.
Richard, 33, escaped with a head injury while his three-year-old son Richard junior walked away unharmed.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut says a case of culpable homicide is being investigated.