Five people perished, three of them on the spot, while 11 others were injured when a Toyota Hiace commuter omnibus they were traveling in veered-off the road and overturned after the driver lost control near Morgenster Mission Hospital Wednesday morning.
The driver, Takudzwa Chipindu, disappeared from the scene after the crash, according to police and eyewitnesses.
Police said Chiindu’s whereabouts remained unknown by yesterday evening.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Nyathi said the accident occurred at the 31 km peg along Masvingo-Morgenster Hospital road at around 5 am.
Assst Comm Nyathi said the bodies of the deceased were taken to Masvingo General
Hospital mortuary for postmortem.
The injured were rushed to Morgenster Hospital where they are receiving treatment. Their
condition was said to be critical.
The national police spokesperson said the commuter omnibus had 17 occupants, including the driver, when the tragedy struck.
“I can confirm there was a fatal road traffic accident at 31 km along Morgenster-Masvingo Road.
“The driver of the kombi was travelling towards Masvingo and allegedly lost control of the vehicle,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the vehicle, a Toyota Hiace veered off the road to the right, hit a tree and overturned once before landing on its right side killing three people instantly.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the driver immediately fled from the scene.
“Surprisingly, the driver ran away after the accident and yet we expect him to cooperate with the police. We have however launched a manhunt and the long arm of the law will catch up with him,” he said.
He advised the motoring public to be extra cautious when traveling on national roads , especially towards the festive season when traffic volume is usually high.
Motorists were also expected to be responsible and ensure that they supported the spirit of road safety.
“Motorists should just be responsible and drive cautiously without speeding. They should learn to be responsible so that they make sure that they do not cause unnecessary road carnage which has claimed many lives.”
Masvingo has accounted for many deaths as a result of road traffic accidents with the Masvingo–Beitbridge highway now being deemed arguably the most dangerous road in the country owing to runaway carnage.