THREE people died and 16 others were seriously injured when a commuter omnibus they were travelling in overturned and rolled several times before plunging over a small bridge and landing on its roof at the 255 km peg along the Bulawayo-Harare highway yesterday.
A one-year-old child was among the dead while several passengers lost their limbs.
Acting Midlands police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende confirmed the accident which occurred at around 2.15 PM .
She said the driver of the commuter omnibus — a Nissan Caravan which was bound for Kwekwe — failed to negotiate a curve and swerved to the right lane.
Asst Insp Mukwende said passengers were thrown out of the vehicle as it rolled on the tarmac.
She said three people, including a one-year-old child, died on the spot while 16 others were seriously injured.
Asst Insp Mukwende said the 16 injured people were rushed to Gweru Provincial Hospital while the bodies of the deceased were taken to the hospital mortuary.
She said the names of the deceased would be released once their next of kin have been advised.
“We’re appealing to motorists and public transport operators to observe road speed limits and abide by road rules and regulations,” Asst Insp Mukwende said.
A witness, Mr Ranganai Sibanda, alleged that the driver of the vehicle was speeding when the accident occurred.
“I was standing a few metres from the bridge when the accident occurred. The driver of the commuter omnibus swerved to the right before the vehicle overturned and rolled several times,” said Mr Sibanda.
“People including the two who died were thrown out of the vehicle while it was rolling and one woman drowned in the stream.
“The driver lost his arm, the father of the child who died in the accident lost his leg while another woman lost her arm and leg.”