Shock and disbelief at death of Magic Discounters’ Connie Olivier

The coastal community is reeling in shock after, well-known business personality Mrs. Connie Olivier died in a vehicle accident on Thursday evening. Olivier was the sole occupant of her vehicle and was returning home from Walvis Bay to Langstrand at around 21:00 on Thursday evening, when her Toyota Prado crashed into the trailer of a truck which at that moment was making a u-turn on the B2 coastal road near the old roadblock.
Deputy Commissioner Ottilie Kashuupulwa, regional crime investigations co-ordinator for Erongo, confirmed the incident and described it as a “very tragic accident.” “The driver of the truck is currently being investigated for culpable homicide,” she confirmed.
The late Olivier is the wife of Poena Olivier, the pioneer-couple of the Magic Jumbo Discounters trade name which was built from Walvis Bay into a well-known brand name across Namibia.
Over the weekend, different versions of events surrounding the accident surfaced. According to Kashuupulwa the driver of the truck was initially travelling from Walvis Bay towards Swakopmund on the B2 coastal road.
Shortly before reaching the old road block the driver encountered mechanical problems with the truck and he phoned his employer.
“The owner advised the driver to turn back to Walvis Bay,” Kashuupulwa explained. The driver made the fateful u-turn.
The Olivier’s are always traveling in different cars, due to their different business engagements every day. On Thursday night they were returning to Langstrand from Walvis Bay where they had corporate bowls responsibilities at Namib Park.
Mrs Olivier was traveling some distance behind her husband Poena and their youngest son Ronan. Their oldest son, Cabous, was at the time overseas on a bowls world championship.
Poena Olivier passed the truck, but Mrs Olivier did not see the truck’s trailer was still ahead in the road. She slammed into the trailer.
“I too only saw the trailer when I was almost on top of it,” explained a local resident, who was driving on the B2 road shortly after the incident.
“The reflective strips on the sides of the trailer’s chassis should have prevented this. To aggravate matters, according to this resident the truck’s front lights were facing an eastern direction and no tail lights were visible either. It was a very bad accident,” Kashuupulwa said.
The incident also sparked renewed debate around the high volumes of truck traffic on Namibia’s roads, especially sunset and sunrise.
“Why did the truck driver continue towards the police station at Afrodite Beach, where there is adequate turnaround space and the area is adequately lit?” asked one resident.
Many residents also questioned why trucks use the B2, instead of traveling the road behind the dunes. “There is no law to prohibit trucks on the road. It is a gentleman’s agreement for trucks to use the back road during December,” Kashuupulwa said.
Besides being a well-known businesswoman, Olivier was also known as a go-getter in the coastal sports arena. She was a pillar in the Walvis Bay bowls community and is also involved in the Walvis Bay Rugby Club. Olivier is the main organiser of the Henties Bay Touchies every December holiday.
Mrs Olivier’s funeral takes place on Thursday (see details in today’s edition of namib times).

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