Friday, 11 October 2019

ANOTHER SMART BUS CRASH : DRUNK BUS DRIVER BLAMED


PASSENGERS who survived Saturday’s Smart Express Vumba bus accident have blamed the driver for causing the mishap as they accused him of drinking beer before the journey to Mutare.

However, the driver, who refused to be identified, quickly dismissed the allegations and attributed the accident to a mechanical fault.

The accident occurred barely a year after another Smart Express bus killed over 50 people along the Harare-Mutare Highway in a horrific national disaster.

With 45 people on board while descending the steep Vumba curves, the driver lost control of the bus at the 15km peg from Mutare at Lower Vumba Gardens. 

It landed on its right side, injuring 20 passengers who were quickly rushed to hospital by guests who were attending a wedding nearby.

When The Manica Post arrived at the scene moments later, most of the injured had been taken to hospital.

The visibly confused bus driver laboured to explain what had happened.

“When I was negotiating a curve, I heard something breaking under the bus and I knew it was the U-bolt. I lost control of the vehicle but I managed to avoid hitting trees, otherwise people would have died,” he said. 

When asked about his alleged beer drinking binge at Chishakwe before the journey to Mutare he said: “I didn’t drink beer. These are mere allegations.”

However, injured passengers were singing from a different hymn book.

Precious Marigo who suffered some head and body injuries said: “I boarded the bus at Tambawaguta bus stop after I had been told by a passerby that the bus was delaying because the bus driver was drinking beer at Chishakwe Business Centre.

“When I boarded the bus he (the driver) was shouting at passengers to move fast because he was behind time. He was also speeding, despite passengers discouraging him from doing so.”

A man who identified himself as the owner of the bus, Ken Makosi, refused to comment on the accident and begged the reporter to drop the story.

“Please don’t publish this story because it will tarnish the image of our company. We will definitely do something for you,’’ he said. Manica Post

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