A FATHER and his two children died when an overloaded Toyota Fun Cargo vehicle they were passengers in burst a front tyre and rolled four times at the 20km peg along the Zvishavane-Mataga Road last week.

Austin Moyo Marihoho (38) died on admission at the Zvishavane General Hospital while his eight-year-old son Takudzwa died on the spot and another son Tinashe (4) died at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) where he had been transferred to.

According to eyewitnesses, the vehicle was being driven by a police officer from the Zvishavane Criminal Investigations Department who fled the scene after the accident before later handing himself in to the police.

An eyewitness, Juma Banda, who was a passenger in the vehicle, said the driver was to blame for the fatal accident.

Banda alleged that the driver was reckless and clocked 100km/hour on the narrow road resulting in the tyre burst as they approached Mudhomboye Abattoirs.

"The driver lost control of the car and it overturned four times because he was speeding on a narrow road," said Juma, who is still struggling with back pains from injuries sustained in the accident.

According to a police statement, the vehicle was carrying eight adults and two minors. All passengers sustained serious injuries.

The passengers were rushed to Zvishavane General Hospital where Marihoho died on admission.

Miedzo Sithole and Tinashe were transferred to UBH where the later died due to severe blood loss.

A Marihoho family spokesperson and uncle, who only identified himself as James, said the family suffered a great loss and were finding it hard to believe.

"It's like a nightmare to lose three family members in a short space of time," said James.

The Midlands provincial police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko referred all questions to chief national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, who was said to be in a meeting.

The driver is expected to face a police internal disciplinary hearing on June 3 before the case goes to court for trial.

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