The family of a hunky Cape model have told of their pain after he was crushed to death while trying to rescue a dog.
Eckart Wessels, 21, was out walking with a friend in Stellenbosch when the dog bolted off into the path of the oncoming train.
The young man was hit by the Muldersvlei-bound train and his body was dragged for 500 metres before the driver was able to stop the train.
The dog also died.
Eckart’s devastated mom Surina, 44, says he was staying with a friend in Stellenbosch and decided to take the dog for a walk.
“The dog ran off and he tried to save the dog,” a grief-stricken Surina says.
“The timing was just off and he was hit by the train.”
The heartbroken mom was contacted by police shortly after the accident on Monday morning.
“We are all devastated by this tragic accident,” she adds.
“Eckart was a very good person and he always went the extra mile for everyone.
“I went to fetch his twin brother and our family from all over the world is flying in for the funeral.”
Eckart will be buried on Friday morning at a church in Harfield Village.
Metrorail spokeswoman Riana Scott confirms the horror accident occurred at 10.57am between Koelenhof and Du Toit train stations.
Regional manager for Metrorail Mthuthuzeli Swartz says the incident is “tragic”. But he insists there is no way the train driver would have been able to prevent the accident.
“A train travelling at [a] slow speed takes up to 500 metres to stop in an emergency and a train driver is powerless to prevent the accident about to happen,” says Swartz.
He extended his condolences to Eckart’s family and says that the train driver had been booked off immediately after the incident.
One train was cancelled and four others delayed as a result of investigators at the scene.
Buses transported stranded commuters until the tracks were re-opened at 1.07pm.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk says cops will investigate the incident and an inquest docket has been opened.
*This article was published in the Daily Voice