THREE people died on the spot in two separate road traffic accidents in Nkayi and Bulawayo over the weekend.
In Nkayi, a Samaboys bus on its way to Gokwe veered off the road, rolled once and landed on its left side after breaking a tie-rod end at Emathetshaneni village just outside Nkayi Business Centre on Saturday at around 4PM, killing two women.
Those who were injured were admitted to Nkayi Hospital while others were taken to Mpilo Central Hospital where they are said to be recovering.
The news crew visited the scene of the accident and the wreckage of the bus had been covered with a tent while a police officer stood guard.
The bus driver, who emerged unscathed from the accident, later sustained some injuries after injured and 'shocked' passengers thoroughly bashed him for speeding.
Witnesses said they heard a loud bang before hearing cries for help from trapped passengers.
"I was seated outside my bedroom hut when I heard a loud bang coming from that direction. We rushed to the scene and found the bus lying on its left side," said Mbusi Moyo, a villager at the scene where broken glass, pieces of a wardrobe and buckets as well as spilt fuel were still on the road.
Mlungiseli Moyo, another villager, said when they got to the scene, the two women had already passed away.
"We helped to pull out the injured passengers and the dead bodies," he said.
Moyo said passengers who survived the crash turned their anger on the driver and assaulted him.
"The driver was beaten up by passengers. They accused him of speeding," he said.
A teacher at Sembule Primary School which is located on the border of Nkayi and Gokwe, Kudakwashe Rihambe, who survived the accident, claimed that the driver started speeding from Bulawayo.
"We told him to reduce speed and he refused to listen to us and when we reached Emathetshaneni village, we were involved in an accident," he said.
Rihambe, a father of three, said his wife was still admitted at Nkayi District Hospital.
"When the accident happened, I was sitting holding my two children. I kept holding them as the bus rolled and they escaped with minor injuries. But my wife was severely injured," he said.
Meanwhile, an unlicensed driver from Bulawayo allegedly stole a vehicle from a man he lives with in a bid to ferry four relatives but crashed and died on the spot after he lost control of the car yesterday morning.
Mbulisi Gumede, 23, of Pelandaba suburb, took the keys to a Toyota Raum from taxi driver, Pride Lusinga's dressing table while he was asleep with the intention of taking his relatives to Nkulumane.
When the news crew arrived at the scene, Lusinga, and the owner of the taxi, Martin Mutungamira, expressed shock and disbelief at the turn of events.
"I called Pride on his cellphone at around 9AM so that he could bring the car for servicing and he told me he was still asleep. Just as we finished our conversation, I got an anonymous phone call saying my taxi had just been involved in an accident," said Mutungamira.
Witnesses said Gumede, who was speeding, lost control of the vehicle and veered off the road. They added that he tried to open the door to escape but the car fell on its side into a ditch, crushing him in the process.
"When I knocked off from work at about 4am I threw the keys onto my dressing table as I always do and retired to bed. When my boss told me the car had been involved in an accident I thought I was having a bad dream but was surprised to see that Mbulisi had disappeared with the car. No one in the yard heard him leaving," said Lusinga.
Gumede's grandmother, mother and aunt were rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital after suffering minor injuries.
This incident comes exactly two weeks after an accident occurred in Romney Park where Peter Mutungwazi died after he allegedly stole his friend's taxi at a wedding after-party and crashed into a tree along Airport Road.