MUTARE: A Nyanga family says it is yet to come to terms with the death of six relatives in a road traffic accident which occurred along the Nyanga-Ruwangwe road at the weekend.
The Matizakurima family was plunged into mourning Saturday morning after six family members perished in a road traffic accident, which also left 28 others injured.
Five people died on the spot while the sixth passed on after admission at Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital in Mutare.
The accident occurred when the Matizakurima family were on their way to a gravesite beautification ceremony.
Surviving relatives including Mutsawashe Matizakurima, who was driving the two-tonne truck carrying 34 passengers and cement, narrated their ordeal.
“The brakes failed and the I struggled to control the vehicle as it sped down the hill making it,” he said.
“I tried to stop the truck but I failed after the break failure. I failed to negotiate a curve due to the speed of the vehicle.”
A survivor added; “We told the driver to reduce speed after we realised that there was an unusual smell due to breaks. He told us that the vehicle has lost brakes. What happened there after I don’t remember but I just woke up being injured.”
Added another; “The driver told us that the car had lost breaks and I took a decision to jump out of the car after sensing danger.
“I lost two brothers in the accident with two sisters including the driver’s wife.”
Some of the injured were admitted at Nyanga District Hospital, while others have been discharged.
“We received 22 patience and five bodies,” said Nyanga Acting District Medial Officer, Dr Hamish Mubata.
“We referred five critical patience to Victoria Chitepo provincial hospital. Seven were discharged at Regina Coeli Hospital. We have discharged 16 we are left with eight patients with four still in Mutare.”
Local legislator, Honourable Chido Sanyatwe and Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba welcomed the support that the family has received so far while also calling for the use of roadworthy vehicles.
“We thank the assistance we got from government to assist the bereaved families and the injured pull through this difficult situation,” said Cde Sanyatwe.
Dr Gwaradzimba added; “The other issue is the issues of vehicles conditions. The VID and police should continue inspecting the cars and carrying capacities.
“I met the driver who confirmed that the vehicle’s breaks failed and could not be controlled due to the load.
“There is a need for families not to travel in large numbers to avoid an incident were family members died in a single accident.”
Police and other stakeholders have on several occasions urged motorists to adhere to road safety guidelines to avoid loss of life.