Beta driver on the run after accident, bus owner teams up with police

by Tulip Charowa

THE driver of the Beta bus which was involved in a fatal accident in Mutare om Friday escaped from the scene and the bus company’s owner has offered to assist police locate him.

Five people died on Christmas eve when a Beta bus coash crashed against a petroleum tanker at the 242km peg along the Harare-Mutare highway.

The bus had 69 passengers, three of whom died while the rest of the passengers kicked emergency exit panels and escaped to safety, some with injuries.

The other two dead were the petroleum tanker driver, 48-year-old Rufu Zambezi of Glen Norah in Harare and his unidentified passenger. The two were burnt beyond recognition and forensic examinations are ongoing.

In a statement issued Sunday, police national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the Beta bus driver was wanted by police for questioning but his whereabouts have not been ascertained since the Friday evening accident.

“The owner of Beta bus, Mr Mungata has offered to assist police to locate his driver Philip Chiringo who disappeared from the scene after the accident,” said Nyathi.

He added that investigations into the accident are still ongoing. Earlier on, HourlyHits reported that survivors of the horrific road traffic accident said the driver of their bus was speeding and overtaking recklessly.

“The bus driver was speeding and encroached on the other lane, but failed to get back to his lane, resulting in the accident.

“I just saw the bus encroaching on the other lane colliding with the truck,” narrated a survivor.

Another survivor corroborated the other’s statement.

“The bus was speeding. I saw the bus swerve three times after he (the driver) tried to avoid a drunk guy. The bus speeding and crashed, then burst into flames,” said another survivor.

Meanwhile, Nyathi announced the three accident victims whose identities have been verified. The three are:

  1. Fuel tanker driver Rufu Zambezi of Glen Norah in Harare,
  2. Admire Nyandeya of Chief Mutasa area in Nyanga, and
  3. Delan Ndoro of Chief Zimunya area in Mutare.

Two other deceased were yet to be identified as forensic examinations have yet to return results.

A total of 66 people were injured and 25 of them are still in hospital with various degrees of injury. The rest have since been treated and discharged.

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