On 5 June, my wife, Joy and I were on our way to our home in Hermanus and looking forward to attending the FynArts Festival, especially the Friday night concert conducted by Richard Cock.

At about 16:00, driving in misty conditions up Sir Lowry’s Pass, we had reasonable visibility until we rounded the bend at the top of the pass and drove into the thickest mist we had ever encountered – cats eyes not visible nor white lines. Not daring to stop, I tried to keep to my line, not daring to veer right, and hoping if it came to that, to glance off a barrier. However, there was no barrier and we slowly descended into a deep rocky ditch and bounced into the far wall of the ditch.

Our airbags popped and almost immediately a lady’s voice said: “Mr Stewart, you have had an accident. Are you OK?” We seemed okay and would only discover the bruises etc. later. Evidently, when the airbags popped, BMW in Europe were alerted and the voice continued to say: “The police and the tow truck are on their way. Do you need an ambulance?” In no time, an ER Ambulance was beside us and offered to take us to hospital – not needed, but comforting.

We were still in the car, with Joy below me and me on the high driver’s side. After about 15 minutes I managed to open the window and was pulled out feet first by the hero in this story, an extraordinary Samaritan, Marius de Necker. He then managed to pull Joy out from down below me and suggested we get into his double cab, out of the freezing cold.

He was so caring and asked where we were heading. When we told him we were going to Hermanus he said: ”I live in Sandbaai. I will take you home.” Our car was fully loaded with golf clubs, carts, suitcases, foodstuffs etc. He insisted we remain in the warmth of his car and proceeded to offload our whole load into his double cab.

We learnt that he had earlier gotten rid of two suspicious characters who had appeared from nowhere and were eyeing the contents of our open boot. The police were kind and helpful and the tow truck men were happy to proceed once we had confirmed we were insured. They took our car to Grabouw.

Marius de Necker, having loaded all our baggage, took off and told us that he had been travelling behind us and could not see his car’s bonnet in front of him. Luckily he saw us in the ditch and stopped. He took us right to our door and proceeded to offload all our luggage into our home.

He was off in no time. Joy and I just looked at each other and tried to collect our thoughts and digest all that we’d just experienced. Uppermost in our minds was the kindness of Marius. If there was ever a ‘Samaritan of The Year’ award in the Overberg, he would be our nomination. Thank you, Marius we look forward to having a meal together some time.

A last tribute goes to our Ward 3 Councillor, Kari Brice, a neighbour of ours who had been alerted by one of our daughters of our accident. Kari appeared and insisted on taking me to Hermanus Hospital to have a gouge in my hand treated – and then waited for me to get home despite all the pressures of her council work. Thank you, Kari.

Warmest regards to all you Overbergers.

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