Three British friends have died and another is seriously injured after they were involved in a “horrific” car crash on South Africa’s southern coast.
Married couples Peter and Miranda Harris and Chris and Susanna Naylor were in a vehicle which crashed off a bridge on Monday near Port Elizabeth and plummeted around 75ft (22.8m) into the water.
Mr Harris, 67, survived the crash but was seriously hurt. The driver of the vehicle also survived.
Their car was reported to have collided with another vehicle on the N2 motorway in Bluewater Bay.
The couples were in the country with UK based Christian charity A Rocha, which is involved in practical conservation projects around the world and was founded by Mr and Mrs Harris in the early 1980s.
Mr Naylor is the organisation’s CEO and co-founded A Rocha Lebanon in 1996 with his wife, having both worked as teachers in the Middle East.
In recent years, Mrs Naylor was head of science at Christ Church Cathedral School, Oxford.
A Rocha said the news came as a “profound shock to everyone in the A Rocha Family and others all around the world.”
It added that their families and friends are “held in our prayers” and said a page had been created for those wishing to share their memories and condolences, which would be relayed to the victims’ loved ones/
Tributes on the site include one which reads: “Sincerest condolences at this most difficult time. We hold you in our prayers.”
Another wrote: “Dearest Peter, no words can describe our feelings at hearing the news. How can we make sense of what has happened?
“We cannot imagine what a loss it is to you, Joanna, Esther, Bethan, Jeremy, their spouses and children and all other relatives.”
Thank you for your outpouring of love, prayers and words of support following this tragic loss. We have created a page for you to share your memories, condolences or other reflections. These will be relayed to the Harris and Naylor families. https://t.co/CaTQYWFDwd
— A Rocha International (@arochaint) October 30, 2019
In another, vicar Mick Hough, from Holy Trinity Church in Redhill, Surrey – where Peter and Miranda had links – said his congregation was “shocked and saddened” by the news.
Congregation members gathered at the church on Wednesday to pray for the couples.
Rev Dave Bookless, director of theology at A Rocha, said: “The death of Chris, Miranda and Susanna leaves a huge and irreplaceable hole in our lives and our organisation.
“Our prayers are for Peter’s full recovery, along with the driver of the vehicle they were travelling in, and also for the Harris and Naylor families, as well as the hundreds, if not thousands, who consider them as extended family.
“Now is a time for grief, and sharing our treasured memories of some godly people.”
The Foreign Office said it is “supporting the families” of those involved and that its staff are “in contact with the South African authorities.”
News reporter @news_snuggsy Three British friends have died and another is seriously injured after they were involved in a “horrific” car crash on South Africa’s southern coast. Married couples Peter and Miranda Harris and Chris and Susanna Naylor were in a vehicle which crashed off a bridge on Monday near Port Elizabeth and plummeted around 75ft (22.8m) into the water.