The notorious Magoebaskloof pass very nearly claimed another life this week when Lienkie Reynolds went over the side of the road in her vehicle on Sunday afternoon. Reynolds, a much loved business woman from Hoedspruit, was reported missing over social media on Sunday evening following the accident.
According to reports from the rescuers on the scene at the time, her abandoned vehicle was discovered on a gravel road just off the R71 road late on the afternoon of the 3rd of November. Members of Haenertsburg Neighbourhood Watch immediately contacted the relevant authorities and a search operation was launched. The search was however later called off after nightfall as the steep terrain could not be searched effectively or safely in the dark.
Reynolds’ personal belongings including her cell phone and handbag were found inside the vehicle and the passenger side door was ajar indicating that she had exited the vehicle by that way. It is alleged that the driver-side door was jammed shut against a tree. Of her however, there appeared to be no trace.
On Monday morning, the 4th of November, the search resumed from the location where the car was found. Teams which included people from Haenertsburg Neighbourhood Watch, EMS, SAPS, Letaba Fire Protection Association, SLM, Warriors, ZZ2 Tracker Team, Flycam, Mopani Fire and Rescue Services and Mopani District Municipality Disaster Management Centre undertook a gridded search in an attempt to find her.
Maps, detailing the topography, location of the car and other details, were prepared along with a search grid which could guide a systematic search and rescue operation. Within approximately two hours, the missing woman was located. Information has it that she was severely dehydrated and unable to move due to the steep incline where she was stranded against.
She was treated on site by Deon van Tonder and carried out to a waiting ambulance. She was transported to hospital by TEMS Ambulance. “We wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude towards everyone who participated in the search & rescue operation,” said Louise Claassens of the HNW, “the successful outcome is the result of fine team-work and a close working relationship between the community and first responders.”
At the time of going to print it was not made clear what caused the accident and we were not able to make contact with Reynolds.