4 killed in road fatality, 5 injured: Malawi Police arrest driver

Four men died in road accident at a place known as Mwamunam’modzi along Blantyre – Chikwawa road when Freightliner Articulated Truck they were travelling in lost control due to brake failure.

The passengers; Alfred Bamusi aged 30 from Jana village, Traditional authority Nsomba in Blantyre district ;  Joseph Pinifolo aged 30 from Makuwa village, Traditional authority Chikowi in Zomba district ; Chisomo Masimbo aged 15 from Kantimbanya village, Traditional authority Nsomba in Blantyre district and and Sunganani Kandiwo aged 15 from Zongezi village, traditional authority Nsomba in Blantyre district.

The Freightliner Articulated Truck registration number CP 9990/MJ 3992 driven by Manuel Chikopa aged 30 from Manyamba village, Traditional authority Mabuka in Mulanje district was coming from Blantyre heading Chikwawa with 20 passengers on board, 15 of them sat on top of 600 bags of cement which the truck carried.

The driver alleges that the truck experienced brake failure as it was descending the escarpments. The vehicle started cruising at an alarming speed whilst negotiating the bends of the mountain, resulted into some passengers being thrown out of the vehicle onto the tarmac and dirty verge.

Accidents on Malawi roads
Accidents on Malawi roads

Eventually after travelling for about 3 kilometers whilst negotiating the sharp left bend, the driver lost control of the vehicle and it overturned and killed the 4 mentioned passengers on the same spot (three were covered by the bags of cement and one was thrown out of the vehicle before it overturned).

The driver (Manuel Chikopa) has since been arrested by police in Milare Sub-station. He produced a valid driving licence.

Other passengers who were in the board sustained serious injuries.

All the victims and the bodies of the deceased persons were taken to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.

Police investigations show that the accident happened on the dry tarmac road and offside part of it. It was also noted that during the time of the accident, the weather was clear. The driver is to blame for driving the vehicle at a high speed.

The driver has been charged with offences of  causing death by reckless or negligent driving of a motor vehicle ; carrying unauthorized passengers without Road Service Permit which are contrary to sections 126 (4c) and 83(1) of Road Traffic Act of number 26 of 1997 under Chapter 69:01 of the laws of Malawi.

The driver will appear before court tomorrow (January 28, 2012)

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