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Pathfinder faces $180k lawsuit

By Mashudu Netsianda

An accident victim is suing Pathfinder luxury bus and its driver for more than $180 000 in damages, medical and hospital expenses after surviving an accident that claimed eight lives three years ago.

Pathfinder bus crash
Pathfinder bus crash

The Bulawayo-bound bus, with 66 passengers on-board, collided with a haulage truck in Lochard area near Shangani along the Bulawayo-Harare highway on December 7 in 2013.

Six people were killed on the spot including the truck driver, Edwin Matusva while 38 others were injured.

The victim, Ms Desiree Philips through her lawyers, Sengweni Legal Practice, filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court citing Pathfinder (Pvt) Ltd and the driver, Bekithemba Masuku as defendants.

In papers before the court, Ms Philips said she suffered permanent disability and had to sell her daughter’s house to finance her medical and transport expenses, which cost her $20 000. She is demanding $182 044 from the bus company in damages for pain and suffering, body disfigurement, contingencies, medical expenses incurred and loss of property and amenity of life.

Ms Philips accused Masuku of negligence and recklessness.

“The first defendant (Masuku), who was driving at a speed in excess of 80km per hour at night failed to keep proper look out and hit a cow, resulting in a head-on collision with an ERF truck,” she said.

Ms Philips, who was seated on the upper deck of the bus on the front row seat, said she sustained spine injuries.

“As a direct consequence of the accident, I am now permanently disabled and suffer recurrent pain in the neck and spine. I have difficulty in walking or standing and have developed permanent medical complaints,” she said.

Ms Philips said despite demand, the defendants have failed, refused or neglected to compensate her for the injuries and damages suffered. The bus company has not yet filed a notice to enter an appearance to defend the summons and it has 10 working days to do so. Chronicle