One person died on the spot while four others including a driver were seriously injured when a Toyota Allex they were travelling in veered off the road and rolled thrice.
The driver was allegedly trying to avoid crashing into a vehicle that was in front of him at Connemara Open Prison, 37 km out of Gweru along the road to Harare. Among the injured were Midlands State University students on their way home from writing end of semester examinations.
Gweru City Council Chief Fire Officer, Mr Emmanuel Musemwa confirmed the crash which occurred around 1PM yesterday. “I can confirm that one person – a passenger in the Toyota Allex vehicle – died on the spot after the vehicle veered off the road as the driver attempted to overtake four vehicles here at Connemara Open Prison. Four other passengers have been ferried to Gweru Provincial Hospital,” he said.
When the Chronicle visited the scene of the accident, officials from the Air Force of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services were removing the injured from the Toyota Allex. According to witnesses, the driver of the Toyota Allex tried to overtake four vehicles before he realised that there was a car in front of him that was turning right, thereby blocking his way. “When he tried to avoid hitting the turning vehicle, he veered off the road and battled to control the it for about 200m. The vehicle then hit a bridge before rolling about three times
The vehicle had five passengers on board, three females and two males. One male passenger died on the spot while others had multiple fractures. The injured were ferried to Gweru Provincial Hospital,” said a witness. The driver who was turning right into Connemara Open Prison said he indicated in time to show other motorists that he wanted to turn.
“There were about four vehicles behind us and then came a speeding vehicle intending to overtake us. But I was already turning and to avoid us, he went off the road and tried to control the vehicle without success,” she said. “The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services officers stationed at Connemara prison were the first to rush to the scene of accident to assist the survivors. Members of the Air Force of Zimbabwe also came to the scene to help.”