A 70-year-old woman has died a horrific death after being hit by a train which severed all her arms and legs.
Susan Smith was on life support for several hours after the tragic incident, but there was nothing doctors could do to save her.
It’s unclear how or what led the Bokmakierie granny to land under a train at Athlone station early yesterday morning.
Susan’s sister-in-law, Denise Smith, says she took her daughter to work and when she returned around 6am, Susan was gone.
“She got dressed, her pyjamas were on her bed but she wasn’t here,” Denise tells the Daily Voice.
“Around 9am a friend asked me where Susan was because she saw something on Facebook about a woman who was hit by a train.
“I told my friend we were looking for her, then later we found out it was Susan.”
Denise says they rushed to Groote Schuur Hospital, only to learn the life-support machines had already been switched off.
“She turned 70 in May. It wasn’t like her to wander off, so we don’t know why she did it,” Denise says.
ER24 paramedics were the first to arrive on the scene.
Spokesperson Chirtra Bodasing says it appears Susan attempted to cross the tracks when she was hit.
“It is understood that the woman was walking across the train tracks when she was knocked by the train.
“She was found lying in the middle of two train tracks. She was conscious but in a critical condition.
“She sustained amputations to both her legs below the knees and both arms below the elbow,” Chitra says.
Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott, however, says initial reports were that Susan fell while trying to board a train.
“We confirm the incident at 6.20 this morning at Athlone station,” she says.
“According to first reports and some eyewitness accounts it appears that an elderly female commuter attempted to board a moving train and subsequently fell onto the tracks with tragic consequences,” she says.
“Metrorail has already initiated an investigation into the circumstances leading to the incident.”
Eyewitnesses are urged to contact either the police at Retreat 021 710 5129 or Metrorail on 021 449 4336.