South Africa: British tourists were killed after the station wagon crashed into the river (Image: JAMIE PYATT)The two married couples were travelling to an airport to return to England and had just driven up South Africa’s famous 450 mile Garden Route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. Three of the four Briton’s were highly respected Christian charity bosses and the other was a senior teacher at elite £17,000-a-year Christ Church Cathedral School in Oxford, Oxon.
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Both are critical but stable after being rushed to St George’s Hospital in Port Elizabeth after being pulled still breathing from the wreckage of their semi-submerged station wagon.Peter’s wife and mother-of-four Miranda was killed along with their close friends Chris Naylor, 58, who is the Chief Executive officer of A Rocha and his scholar wife Susanna, 54.
The foursome had been enjoying a 10 day combined adventure and working holiday in South Africa visiting A Rocha field groups as well as taking time out to enjoy wildlife safaris.They had begun the journey home when their double cab Toyota station wagon and luggage trailer was in collision with a Chrysler Neon as they crossed the Swartkops Bridge.
South Africa crash: Peter Harris and his wife Miranda (Image: JAMIE PYATT)The two vehicles were travelling in the same direction over the two lane 300m bridge when it is thought a gust of wind blew the British vehicle’s trailer into a car driving alongside them.The resulting impact flipped the station wagon with the terrified Harris’s and Naylor’s inside over the crash barrier and plunged it 75 feet into the river below smashing onto its roof.
Fellow motorists abandoned their cars and rushed down the embankment and helped by locals waded out into the chest deep water and pulled all the occupants from the vehicle.Tragically mother-of-three Susanna Naylor who is Head of Science at an Oxfordshire prep school and a former charity worker with A Rocha and her husband Chris were dead.
Friend Peter Harris who survived was a former English teacher at £36,000 a year Christ’s Church school in Horsham, Sussex, and a former Anglican clergyman based in Liverpool.His wife Miranda helped him set up the A Rocha charity – which means “The Rock” - which opened their first field study conservation project in Portugal 36 years ago in 1983.
.Their worldwide Christian organisation has spread to over 20 countries including the USA, Brazil, South America, the Middle East, Australia, Canada and Africa and is based in the UK.The charity has an income of £5m a year from government grants, trust.....