PRETORIA – Meet Lieutenant Colonel Patricia Manganye. The member is a Motor Vehicle Accident Reconstruction Expert attached to the Mechanical and Metallurgical Engineering Subsection at the Silverton Laboratory in Pretoria.
Originally from Tiyani- Magoro Village near Giyani in Limpopo, the member with 13 years’ service holds a B-tech degree in Metallurgical Engineering.
On a daily basis, the forty-one-year-old member investigates culpable homicide, murder, as well as reckless and negligent driving cases.
As a Motor Vehicle Accident Reconstruction Expert, the member is able to indicate how an accident took place by looking at the physical evidence at hand. Part of the evidence examined include damage to the vehicle, gouge marks and tyre marks left on the tar road, pedestrian injuries, vehicle debris as well as the final resting position of the vehicle’s involved.
She also examines the vehicle or photos taken at the accident scene to determine whether any component of the vehicle such as poor tyre maintenance or poor vehicle maintenance contributed to the accident.
Upon further investigation, the member can also determine if a motorist failed to indicate when changing lanes or whether or not the vehicle’s lights were on and off at the time when the accident occurred.
Lt Col Manganye is able to also calculate to determine the speed at which a vehicle was travelling at impact.
Part of the member’s responsibility is to produce a detailed report before a court of how an accident occurred. At times, the member is also called in to testify.
In 2010, the member was one of two female engineers in the SAPS who were nominated to go and benchmark in the USA on how the study and investigation of motor vehicle accidents are conducted.
Again in 2015, the member was the only analyst in the SAPS that was nominated to undergo a month-long training course on the Criminal Investigative Techniques used in China at the National Police University of China in Shenyang.
During her career, she recalls highlights of the cases she has worked on where a bus overturned killing eleven people and injuring thirty-eight passengers.
“The accident happened in Aberdeen near Beaufort West. When I examined the bus tyre, I found that there was a tyre burst, upon further examination of the tyre, i found that the tyre was poorly maintained and that contributed to the bus accident. At the end of that case, the bus driver was convicted and some of the busses belonging to the bus company were banned from operating”.
“I would like to advise motorists to always ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy before they enter any vehicle as this exercise may save more lives on our busy roads”.
To qualify as a motor vehicle accident reconstruction expert, a member needs to have a minimum qualification of a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering or Metallurgical Engineering.
To Lt Col Manganye and other motor vehicle accident reconstruction experts, we appreciate the work that you do.