By Leonard Ncube
Four people were critically injured following a nine-vehicle pile-up in Victoria Falls yesterday, blocking a busy road in the resort town for almost an hour.
The accident, which resulted in injuries to several more people, occurred at around 5pm along Livingstone Way next to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority offices.
The vehicles included a truck carrying a tractor, a Rav 4, two Toyota Wish, two Honda Fit, a Toyota Voxy and another car.
All the vehicles were going in the same direction towards the Central Business District.
Witnesses said the driver of the truck lost control after trying to apply breaks following a front tyre burst.
The truck swerved to the right resulting in the tractor falling off the trailer and landing on a Honda Fit with people inside resulting in the pile up.
The truck, tractor and the Rav 4 were unregistered as they had just been imported, driven from Walvis Bay via Kazungula Border post while the Voxy had Botswana registration.
The other vehicles were allegedly pirating.
“I just heard a loud bang from the back of the car and I immediately lost control and hit a Wish which was in front of me.
“Thereafter I didn’t even see what happened,” said Mr Lenin Tadzirepi, the driver of a Honda Fit which was extensively damaged.
Mr Tadzirepi who operates between Hwange and Victoria Falls, escaped with minor injuries while all his passengers were rushed to hospital with serious injuries.
After his car was hit from the back, Mr Tadzirepi lost control of the vehicle which hit the one in front.
Three of the cars landed on the left side of the road.
“It looks like the truck had problems with its breaks and the owner hired a local mechanic to fix it. It is the mechanic who was driving when the accident occurred,” said a witness.
When a Chronicle news crew arrived at the scene, scores of people had gathered while police were trying to put together the puzzle to understand how the accident occurred.
A visibly shaken woman who claimed to be the owner of the truck and tractor was moving from one end of the road to the other and making endless phone calls updating some people about the accident.
She however refused to comment and instructed the mechanic who had been driving the truck not to talk to anyone besides the police about the accident.
Police spokesperson for Matabeleland North province Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese could not be reached for comment. The Chronicle.