Peter Matika — SEVEN people, all men, died on the spot, while attending to a broken down car, along the Bulawayo Harare road, after they were mowed down by a speeding Toyota Gaia that was traveling to Bulawayo from Harare on Friday night. The accident occurred at the 370km peg along the Bulawayo Harare road near Shangani, at around 10pm, where the seven were attending to a broken down vehicle that was reportedly towed to Gweru. Five of the deceased were locals from Kombo settlement, while the other two were drivers of the vehicles.
Senior Assistant Police Commissioner, Charity Charamba confirmed the accident. "The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to confirm that seven people died on 7 March 2014 at 22:14 at the 370 km peg along the Bulawayo Harare road near Shangani, when three vehicles were involved in a fatal road accident. Circumstances are that a Nissan Sunny, registration number: ABY 0611 and a Mazda B1800 registration number APB 1980, were towing each other en-route to Gweru when the drivers stopped and parked on the roadside to fix the tow bar. 'A Toyota Gaia, registration: ACP 9261 suddenly veered off the road to the left side on approaching the parked vehicles.The Toyota Gaia hit all seven people who attending to the broken tow bar and they died on the spot," she said.
The bodies of all the deceased were ferried to United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) mortuary and the next of kin have all been notified. Ass Com Charamba appealed to motorists to exercise caution when traveling long distances at night and pay attention to the road. "The police are appealing to drivers to exercise extreme caution when traveling long distances at night.
A witness who at the scene said he heard a loud thud before rushing out to investigate. "We heard a loud noise and I decided to investigate only to find that an accident had occurred. When I got to the scene I realised that one car had rammed into six people, with another person stuck under the car.
Five of them were from the surrounding homesteads and the other two were from the vehicles that had broken down. 'The five were assisting in towing the vehicles. I am not really sure how the accident happened but from the look of things the driver of the Gaia must have been speeding," said Mr Nkosana Ndiweni.
The councilor of the ward, Mrs Edith Gumbo, said it was painful that the deceased met such a sad fate but urged motorists to exercise extreme caution when they have breakdowns on the road at night. "Drivers, particularly those who use these Toyota Ipsum and Gaia vehicles should observe the rules of the road, as there are many accidents that have been caused by people driving these vehicles. Those who experience breakdowns should always make sure they have all the necessary equipment to attend to their vehicles and signs to show other motorists that there is a hazard along the way," she said.
Meanwhile, five people escaped death by a whisker, after a Toyota Platz they were traveling in burst two tyres, overturned four times, had its engine dislodged and flung to the other side of the road before ramming into a Nissan Navarra en-route to Harare. The accident occurred at the Bulawayo Harare road 35km peg near Ntabazinduna at around midday today. The people in the Platz were traveling from Harare to Bulawayo to visit family, while the driver of the Navarra, an Apostolic Faith Mission pastor was on his way to Harare from Plumtree border post where he had gone to collect the car he had just bought. "The back right tyre burst before the second on the front did.
It happened so fast and before we could do anthing the car was overturning. We escaped with minor injuries. I was the first to free myself and quickly assisted the rest of the family. We are lucky to be alive and we thank the Lord for that," said a family member Mr Raymond Ogenio, who was seated on the front passenger side. Pastor Augustine Bura, also said he was grateful to be alive. "I am aware of what caused the accident but I am grateful to be alive.
The devil has no power hear and it is clear that God has his way. We should not worry about these earthly assets such as cars as we can get more through hard work and the grace of the Lord," he said.