The family of two-year-old Matthew Malgas, who died in the bus accident on Heights Road on Saturday evening, has been left devastated.
THE FAMILY SAID LITTLE MATTHEW’S DEATH IS A HUGE LOSS FOR ALL
A bus with 35 occupants – the full Excelsior team with reserves (30 in total), two board members, the coach, bus driver, and little Matthew – crashed down an embankment in the Wilderness area at about 18:00 on Saturday evening, 21 May.
According to a report by the Knysna-Plett Herald, the team was on their way home to Plettenberg Bay after a rugby match at Nelson Mandela University in Saasveld.
ER24 spokesperson Ross Campbell said they had apparently taken this road through the back of Wilderness to connect to the N2 as the Saasveld road is closed due to flood damage.
Paramedics found the bus lying down the embankment, on its side, at an 80-degree angle. It had crashed through the deck of a nearby home.
Two-year-old Matthew Malgas, who was also on the bus, suffered fatal injuries and was declared dead at the scene by Metro EMS while two men in their 30s were trapped in the bus in a critical condition.
THE BUS ACCIDENT HAPPENED ON SATURDAY EVENING
“They required Advanced Life Support interventions and their extraction took a long, combined effort led by Metro Rescue. ER24 transported them both through to George Provincial Hospital for further care,” Campbell said.
The 34 other injured patients included men, women, and children. They were treated and transported to nearby hospitals due to minor injuries. The police are investigating the accident.
By Monday, only one of the team’s flanks, Lorenzo Windvogel, was still hospitalised for an arm injury.
The chairperson of Excelsior, Pastor Willem Malgas, was discharged on Monday from Knysna Provincial Hospital, while several others had follow-up appointments for medical care in Plettenberg Bay.
LITTLE MATTHEW LOVED RUGBY AND ATTENDED ALL MATCHES
Malgas is also little Matthew’s grandfather and was with him at the time of the accident. According to team manager Martin Booysen, Malgas and his grandson, Matthew, were thrown from the bus when it came crashing down Heights Road.
Booysen told the publication that little Matthew’s death was a huge loss to all. The family said the little boy has always been present at all the Saturday matches since most of his family was involved in the club.
“His mom, Lucretia Malgas, is the secretary; his dad, Jacques McClean, is a team member and his grandpa is the chairperson. With our last home game, every player had the opportunity to walk on the field with their child. Matthew went with his dad. He was always so excited about rugby, and would shout, ‘Tackle, tackle, tackle!’ He just wanted to kick rugby balls.”