Nine students from Lake View Secondary School in Ntcheu district were rushed to Dedza District Hospital after a minibus they were travelling in crashed Friday afternoon.
The students were among 18 passengers who survived in the accident that claimed the life of the driver, who was reportedly drunk. Police also found a number of beer sachets in his pockets.
Dedza Police Spokesperson Edward Kabango told Nyasa Times soon after the accident that the 18 passengers, who included a conductor, suffered multiple injuries while the driver, only identified as Yusuf, died on the spot.
The wounded school children were returning to their respective homes after closing school on Friday morning.
The incident occurred at around midday at Kabowola village, situated between Dedza Police Roadblock and Bembeke Turn-off (some fivekilometers away from the roadblock) and involved a white Nissan Vanette registration number NE 2167.
Kabango said the minibus also exceeded its 12-people capacity and was carrying 19 people including the departed driver.
He said some of the survivors have sustained serious injuries with fractures while others have deep cuts in their heads and other areas.
“The minibus was travelling from Ntcheu heading for Lilongwe and at the moment it is not quite clear what really transpired. But the driver was drunk and there was a bus belonging to Premier Bus Services which wanted to overtake it and because of alcohol influence instead of sticking to his lane he kept on meandering to obstruct the bus from overtaking him.
“But upon reaching the accident scene the Premier bus driver managed to pass him and what happened thereafter is not quite clear as the minibus just overturned. May be he just lost control of the vehicle or applied emergency brakes. But one thing is that the minibus did not run into or collide with the big bus at the time it carshed,” explained Kabango.
An eye witness, Chawanangwa Kwaule who was in the big bus travelling to Lilongwe also told Nyasa Times, the minibus driver was “seemingly drunk as he kept swerving from one lane to the other and we wondered why his passengers just let him go away with that.”
“He did that for some time before we overtook him. Actually, as we were overtaking him our conductor was so annoyed with his behavior that he shouted at him through the window and just under a minute
that’s when we heard a massive sound of crashing behind us,” explained Kwaule.
Over the last few years, the M1 road around Dedza stretch has been known for fatal accidents that have resulted in hundreds of people losing their lives with others having permanent deformities.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :