Patient killed on N1 after vanishing from hospice

A patient who vanished from a Cape Town hospice was killed less than two hours later in a highway accident.

Two investigations have been launched into the death on Wednesday of Martin Jansen‚ 64‚ who walked out of Tygerberg Hospice in the grounds of Karl Bremer Hospital‚ in Bellville.

Jansen was last seen by a hospice staff member at 3pm‚ according to the Western Cape health department. At 4.50pm‚ he was knocked over by a car on the N1‚ 5km away.

Health department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said: “Staff on duty noticed that the patient was not in the unit around 3.30pm and immediately commenced a search for the patient on foot along with… contracted security.”

But a source at the hospice‚ a non-profit organisation funded by the health department‚ said the alarm was only raised after 11pm when police were called. Officers returned at 1am on Thursday to inform staff Jansen had died on the N1.

“For the whole day they didn’t notice the patient was missing‚” said the source‚ who asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions.

The source said it was Jansen’s “habit to wander around and come back”‚ but staff had not formally recorded any information about him during Wednesday.

“All observations are supposed to be written down‚ but there was nothing for the whole day‚” said the source‚ adding that Jansen had dementia.

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