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One dead, several injured as truck rams into 6 vehicles at border post

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  • The haulage truck first hit a Toyota Allion near Valley Lodge and the driver managed to navigate the steep curves to the border for about three kilometres before ploughing into four other vehicles from Doves Funeral Services, Telone and Zimra, as well as a privately owned Toyota Vitz.

A CLEARING agent at Forbes Border Post died in a road traffic accident yesterday, while six others were injured when they were run over by a speeding truck that had developed brake failure.

The unidentified truck driver is said to have escaped unhurt and the police were still looking for him by the time of going to print.

The accident resulted in a pile up of six vehicles.

The 30-tonne truck which was loaded with fine chrome and destined for Beira in Mozambique belongs to N Nzindira Investments. It was impounded by the police.

Preliminary investigations show that the truck developed brake failure as it descended the Vumba Mountain Range towards the border and rammed into six vehicles before it could stop.

The deceased, whose name could not be released as the next of kin was yet to be notified, was allegedly walking to the customs office when disaster struck.

Six other people who were seated in parked vehicles were injured and rushed to Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital in Mutare.

Five vehicles were extensively damaged by the haulage truck, while a J&J truck was slightly side-swiped.

The haulage truck first hit a Toyota Allion near Valley Lodge and the driver managed to navigate the steep curves to the border for about three kilometres before ploughing into four other vehicles from Doves Funeral Services, Telone and Zimra, as well as a privately owned Toyota Vitz.

All the vehicles were parked on the opposite direction facing Mutare.
Witnesses said one person died on the spot after being run over by the truck.

“The guy who was crushed to death was a clearing agent. He was going to the customs office and was on the edge of the road when the truck hit him. His body was flattened, with body parts strewn all over. It was a sorry sight. The driver of the truck escaped unhurt,” said Jefinas Mazambani, a witness.

Benjamin Marewa, a truck driver, blamed the accident on inexperience and poor decision making.

Marewa said the driver should have improvised means to stop the truck along the way when he realised that it had lost its brakes.

“The moment he realised that the truck had developed break failure, he should have at least looked for an object to hit and stopped the truck. The break failure developed three kilometres away and he should have quickly reacted instead of continuing towards the border where there is more human and vehicle traffic.

“Since the truck had a heavy load, there was no way it was going to stop on its own,” he said.

This is not the first time that a haulage truck has caused the loss of life at Forbes Boarder Post after developing break failure.

In August last year, one person died, while another one was seriously injured when a heavily loaded haulage truck developed a brake failure on a relatively sloppy gradient while driving towards the border on the Zimbabwean side. ■

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