Eleven people were killed in a head-on collision at the 118km peg along Harare-Mutare Road in Macheke on Sunday, bringing the Independence and Easter holidays road traffic accident countrywide death toll to 30 since Independence Day.
Seven members of the Apostolic Church were among the 11 dead while 183 others were injured in 321 road traffic accidents that were recorded between April 18 and yesterday morning.
During the same period last year, 26 people were killed while 153 others were injured in 299 accidents recorded.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said overtaking errors resulting in head-on collisions continue to claim lives on the roads.
“As evidenced on April 21, at about 11.30pm, 11 people perished in a fatal head-on collision at the 118km peg along the Harare-Mutare road opposite the Grain Marketing Board depot, Macheke, on the way to Headlands,” he said.
He said a Nissan Caravan with 22 passengers from the Apostolic Church on board who were coming from a church service in Bazeley Bridge, Marange, collided with a Honda Fit which had four occupants.
“Preliminary investigations have established that the Honda Fit was heading towards Mutare while the Nissan Caravan was travelling in the opposite direction.
“On approaching the 118km peg, the driver of the Honda Fit encroached into the lane of the oncoming Nissan Caravan while intending to overtake another vehicle resulting in the head- on collision,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
He said all the four occupants in the Honda Fit died on the spot while the Nissan Caravan overturned once and landed on its roof, killing seven people on the spot.
He said 16 people were seriously injured and were taken to Marondera Hospital for treatment.
The bodies were taken to Rusape District Hospital for post-mortem.
“We urge motorists to exercise extreme caution while driving and ensure that the road ahead is clear before attempting to overtake. Where possible motorists are urged to travel during the day as visibility at night is poor.
“Public service vehicles should not overload passengers even when they are hired to carry church members. Above all, they should not speed,” he said.
Meanwhile, police have warned cross-border buses and others vehicles towing trailers laden with luggage that they will be arrested if they do not properly secure the trailers.
“Some of the buses are moving with insecure trailers where the safety chains are loose and normally (detach)from the bus on passing other motorists,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
He said cross-border bus operators should take the warning seriously and comply with the provisions of the Road Traffic Act Chapter 13:11 and Road Transportation Act, Chapter 13:15.