A happy occasion to celebrate a birth has turned into mourning for an extended Bulawayo family who lost 7 members in a horrific car crash near Gweru.
Members of the Cheya family who live at 20 Cavan Road in Queens Park East were on their way to Shurugwi to collect the new addition to their family, born three days earlier, when their Toyota Granvia collided with a haulage truck on Friday night.
The driver and all six passengers died on the spot, with one decapitated by impact of the crash.
The car was carrying Judgement Cheya, 38, who was driving, his uncle Precious Cheya, 41, sister Tendai Cheya, 25, niece Tsungirirai, 15, daughter Josephine, 13, and Tendai's two children Honest, 5, and Busisiwe Burombo, 11 months.
A sombre atmosphere engulfed the Cheya home yesterday where some of the family members were gathered trying to come to terms with the tragedy.
Charles Cheya, who lost his father Precious, said the family learnt with great shock, the deaths of the family members.
"My father and the others left here on Friday at around 7PM heading for Shurugwi where they were going to collect Judgement's wife who had given birth on Tuesday with plans of coming back on Saturday.
"We were shocked, however, when we received news of their deaths at around 2AM on Saturday morning," said Charles.
He said his sister, Tsungirirai, who died in the accident, had been sent home from Ekusileni Mission in Filabusi where she was doing Form Three to collect outstanding fees and decided to accompany her father on the ill-fated journey.
Judgement was a former policeman while his daughter, Josephine, was doing Grade Six at Amavene Primary School in Nkulumane.
Fiso Ncube, wife to the late Precious, said five of the family members were likely to be buried in Shurugwi.
"We are working on burial arrangements we are still awaiting burial orders but the Cheya family members will be buried at their rural home in Shurugwi. However, I am not sure of the Burombo children because their father has the final say," said Ncube.
Burombo, who is in Gweru, could not speak to the news crew as he was grief stricken. All the bodies are at Gweru Provincial Hospital mortuary.
The accident occurred at about 10.30pm when the Toyota Granvia collided with a haulage truck at Tree Top Shopping Centre on the outskirts of Gweru.
The driver of the haulage truck, Misheck Mukono said the driver of the Toyota Granvia swerved to the right and the vehicle veered off the road before swerving back into the road encroaching onto his lane resulting in the collision.