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2 die in ‘veld fire’ accident


Two people died on the spot when a haulage truck was involved in a head-on collision with a Toyota Rav after both vehicles drove through thick smoke caused by a veld fire in Dema on Monday.

By Jairos Saunyama

Mashonaland East provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tendai Mwanza confirmed the accident and urged motorists to desist from passing through areas covered in thick smoke.

“It is quite disturbing to learn that the two drivers allegedly went through thick smoke that completely blurred their visibility well knowing the consequences of their actions.

“We continue to appeal to drivers to stop risking their lives and of other road users by acting in such a disturbing manner. Patience pays, hence the need to exercise extreme caution. Moreover, people must avoid starting veld fires which destroy flora and fauna, and in this case caused the death of two people,” he said.

According to police, Martin Gwata (32) was driving an ERF truck due east along Harare-Wedza Highway while Timothy Bruce (28) was driving a Toyota Rav 4 towards Harare with four passengers on board.

It is alleged that upon approaching the 56km peg where the road was obscured by veld fire smoke, the two parties reportedly drove through, resulting in Bruce encroaching into the lane of the oncoming truck, leading to a head-on collision.

Two passengers in the Toyota died on the spot while the remaining three sustained serious injuries and were rushed to Marondera Hospital.

The bodies of the deceased were conveyed to the hospital mortuary for post-mortem. Gwata reportedly escaped unhurt.

Two weeks ago, an elderly Chikomba woman was admitted to Chivhu Hospital after she was also burnt by a veld fire.

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