SIXTEEN people were killed, while seven others were seriously injured, when a commuter omnibus and a haulage truck collided head-on at Wengezi Bridge in Featherstone at around 9am yesterday.
It had initially been reported that 19 people had perished in the crash, but police said they later discovered that the other three passengers were in a critical condition.
The injured are admitted at Chivhu District Hospital.
All the deceased were travelling in the kombi.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the accident and said they were still carrying out investigations.
“The haulage truck driver who was travelling from Harare claims that he was driving behind another commuter omnibus.
“He further alleged that the omnibus driver suddenly applied brakes, resulting in him swerving to the right to avoid hitting it. This resulted in a head-on collision with another kombi that was going the opposite direction,” he said.
Asst-Comm Nyathi said the kombi was dragged underneath the truck for a few metres before it plunged into the bridge.
“So far, the death toll stands at 16. Initially the other three passengers were feared dead, but it has been figured out that they are currently in a critical condition,” he said.
The truck driver, who was travelling alone, escaped unhurt and the police, Fire Brigade and ambulances from Harare attended the scene.
Government recently revealed that nearly 2 000 people died last year due to road traffic accidents countrywide, marking a nine percent increase in deaths compared to 2017.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza said in 2018, 1 986 people died due to road accidents compared to 1 828 who perished in 2017.
Minister Matiza said this during the 6th Annual Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe Journalistic Awards in Harare.
He pleaded with the nation to join hands in reducing road carnage. The Herald