FOUR people died on the spot while nine others were seriously injured after a kombi they were travelling in veered off the road and overturned along the Harare-Nyamapanda Road on Saturday morning.
The accident was attributed to speeding. The kombi was being driven by Shylon Peace Chironda (20), who is deemed to be under age and without experience in terms of traffic regulations. According to the country's laws, public service vehicles should be driven by people above 25 years with five years experience.
Acting National Traffic police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Luckmore Chakanza yesterday said the accident occurred near the 188km peg in Kotwa area at around 6am.
He said the Nissan Caravan, which had 15 passengers on board, was heading towards Harare when the accident occurred. "On approaching the 188km peg, the driver lost control of the vehicle and it veered off the road before overturning several times, killing four passengers on board and injuring nine others," Asst Insp Chakanza said.
He said the kombi landed in a bridge. Asst Insp Chakanza said Chironda is also reported to be in a serious condition. Chironda and the injured passengers are receiving treatment at Kotwa Hospital. He said Chironda is expected to appear in court soon facing four counts of culpable homicide. He will also be charged for driving a public service vehicle without a retest, a defensive driving certificate and medical fitness. Asst Insp Chakanza said the owner of the vehicle was likely to be charged for employing a driver without the required documents. He urged operators to ensure that they comply with the law as they risk being arrested and prosecuted.
This year, at least 396 drivers are being charged with culpable homicide after being involved in accidents that killed 630 people during the first four months. Last year, 564 drivers were charged.
A total of 552 people were killed in road accidents last year. This year, 10 895 accidents have been recorded with 5 171 people being injured. Most of the accidents have been attributed to human error, speeding, overtaking errors, negligent driving and tyre bursts. Last year 4 939 people were injured in 9 737 accidents that were recorded countrywide. herald