TWO people, one of them a driver who was trying to avoid a pothole, died on the spot while 14 others sustained varying degrees of injuries after two vehicles collided head-on in Insuza along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road.
Police confirmed the accident that occurred at the 100km peg between Insuza and Lupane on Saturday.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda said the accident occurred when Sabelo Ndlovu (29) of Emakhandeni in Bulawayo who was driving an Iveco minibus with 20 passengers on board going towards Lupane tried to avoid a pothole resulting in him encroaching onto oncoming traffic causing head-on collision with an Isuzu bakkie driven by Mr Nhlanhla Mkwananzi of Victoria Falls who was driving towards Bulawayo.
He said Ndlovu and a passenger, Sidumisile Sibanda (29) of Lupane, died on the spot.
One of the survivors Mr Mandla Mnkandla of Nkulumane suburb told the Chronicle that the accident was a result of human error and it could have been avoided if both drivers had practised due care.
“When we approached a straight stretch of the road just after Insuza our driver was driving on the right lane. At first, we thought he was evading potholes but he continued for some time on the right lane until a lorry approached. He was speeding and the oncoming vehicle was also speeding. Both drivers did not reduce speed even if it was clear that we were heading for a collision. A few seconds before collision both drivers decided to practice caution by changing lanes unfortunately, they both went to the same lane resulting in a head-on collision,” said Mr Mnkandla.
He bemoaned lack of preparedness when it comes to road traffic accidents. He said it took hours for ambulances to arrive leading to unnecessary loss of lives.
“I watched in dismay people breathing their last before the arrival of ambulances. Even at the hospital we didn’t get treatment until the following day. We were told that the doctor had forgotten about us. I was told I was supposed to be stitched on my left arm but unfortunately it was too late for them to do that.”
Insp Banda said the injured were rushed to St Luke’s Hospital in Lupane.
“On the 3rd day of April 2021, at 3PM a road traffic accident occurred at the 100km peg along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway in Insuza area. Nhlanhla Mkhwananzi (49) of Victoria Falls was driving an Isuzu open truck towards Bulawayo with no passengers on board while Sabelo Ndlovu was driving an Iveco minibus from Bulawayo towards Lupane towing a trailer and had about 20 passengers on board.
On approaching the 100km peg Ndlovu tried to avoid potholes and moved to the right lane and collided with the Isuzu,” said Insp Banda.
Bodies of the deceased were taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals mortuary.
Both vehicles sustained extensive frontal damages.
Insp Banda urged motorists to exercise caution when driving along the country’s roads.
“We appeal to motorists to exercise caution and be on the lookout for potholes when driving along highways. We also encourage motorists to be careful especially when driving between Cross Dete and Hwange where there are numerous curves and also between Cross Dete and Binga as the road, especially in Kamativi has many steep ascents,” he said. —Chronicle