By Andile Tshuma
A tout died while 16 people were injured when a Tshova Mubaiwa Taxi Association kombi collided with a Toyota Gaia at an uncontrolled intersection in Bulawayo’s Tshabalala suburb yesterday morning.
The tout (23) who was hanging out of the kombi window on impact, was dragged on the tarred road after the vehicle overturned and slid on its side.
Witnesses said one side of the unidentified tout’s body was mangled and blood spouted from a deep gash on his neck which passersby unsuccessfully tried to stem with pieces of cloth.
He died in an ambulance on the way to hospital. The witnesses said the driver of the commuter omnibus, who appeared confused, tried to flee the scene.
“He collapsed and had to be assisted by members of the public before ambulances arrived,” said Mr Gilbert Tshuma.
Another Tshova Mubaiwa Taxi Association driver who only identified himself as Dube said he was driving behind the kombi and saw the collision.
“I was driving right behind that kombi. It’s fortunate that I wasn’t speeding otherwise I would also have been a part of the accident,” said Mr Dube.
“The private car approached from the right and had the right of way. However, the [kombi] driver failed to stop for him. His vehicle smashed into the kombi’s rear bumper. The kombi somersaulted into the air before landing on its side and dragging the conductor on the tar.
“The driver of the kombi is in a critical condition, while seven passengers were seriously injured. Eight passengers, including a school pupil, escaped with minor injuries.”
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said: “We’re investigating an accident that happened in Tshabalala involving a commuter omnibus and a Toyota Gaia where a male aged 23 passed away. Investigations are still underway.”
Speaking at the scene, Bulawayo United Residents Association (Bura) organising secretary Mr Methuseli Moyo said a number of accidents have happened in recent months at the same spot.
“This is quite worrying. This place is becoming a black spot. Recently, another kombi was involved in a crash and a woman died on admission to hospital. Some of these kombi drivers are reckless. This intersection has become very unsafe,” said Mr Moyo.
Tshova Mubaiwa Transport Corporation CEO Mr Samson Mabunda said: “We’ve received a report of the accident that occurred in Tshabalala this morning. It’s quite unfortunate. However, I would like to urge commuters that Tshova Mubaiwa is still the safest and most reliable transport service provider. Commuters should feel free to contact us if they have any complaints about the conduct of some of our staff.”
Meanwhile, another accident occurred in Sizinda suburb, near Westgate turn off. A kombi crashed into the rear of another commuter omnibus as both vehicles raced for passengers. Chronicle