HIGHWAY RACE GOES HORRIBLY WRONG, LEAVES 4 DEAD

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Oliver Samboko and  Davies Mulenga write

A car race on Siavonga/Lusaka road has left four holiday makers dead after one of the vehicles they were traveling in collided head on with an oncoming heavy truck near Kafue town.

The four accident victims were among four others who were traveling in a separate vehicle from their three day outing in the resort town of Siavonga.

The driver of the vehicle, a Toyota Allion,  registration number BAG 7111 has been identified as Himbala Hatembo of Lusaka while the other passengers are yet to be identified.

The accident occurred when the drivers of the Toyota Allion and the Mercedes Benz overtook heavy traffic and in the processes, the Toyota failed to beat the on-coming truck leading to the fatal crush.

Following the accident, the couple in the Benz returned to the scene but fled after the mob that had gathered nearly tried to lynch them.

Earlier, the eight local tourists were spotted   at one of the Hotels in Siavonga after spending two nights on a houseboat on Lake Kariba.

  A speeding white Toyota Allion, BAG 7111, rammed head on into a truck and trailer at Kasaka, 8 kilometres south of Kafue Town on Sunday afternoon, killing the driver and three other occupants on the spot while the driver of the other vehicle survived unscathed.

 Dennis Mweemba, 40, driver of the south-bound truck, said he had no time to react when he saw the other vehicle at high speed in his lane.

 “I tried to swerve away but it was too late. I dragged it in a tailspin some metres before flinging it off the road and stopping a few metres away.

 All four died instantly, and jaws of life (hydraulic apparatus used to ply apart wreckage of crushed vehicle) were used to remove their remains from the wreckage,” said Mweemba who was visibly shaken.

Scores of eye witnesses alleged the speeding Toyota attempted to overtake four other vehicles before it smashed into the truck.

And police spokesperson Esther Katongo said yesterday  the accident happened at about 1700 hours when a Toyota Allion hit into a Hyundai from behind and lost control and was then hit by an oncoming freight liner truck.

She said the Toyota Allion registration number BAG 7111 was being driven by Himbala Hatembo , 31 , of Lusaka driving from south to north with three passengers on board while the  Hyundai registration number BAF 2325 was driven by Beardmo Grey Alice, 30.

Ms Katongo said Mr Hatembo and the three passengers in the Allion identified as Luciano Philipo Cebolo, 29, Samuel Malcom Bedlington, 26, and a female only identified as Twambo, died on the spot.

“The accident happened when the driver of Toyota Allion overtook improperly and hit into a Toyota Hyundai from behind, lost control and was hit by a freight liner truck which was coming in the opposite direction,” Ms Katongo said.

In another development, a driver of a Toyota Ipsum registration number BAJ 5034 identified as Paul Bwalya Mpange, 49, died on the spot in a road traffic accident which occurred on Sunday around 20:00hours along Great North Road in Chisamba.

Ms Katongo said a Scania truck registration number ALB 6507, a property of Mount Meru which was being driven from south to north by John Meleki Simalambo, 45, of Zanimuone in Lusaka  and the Ipsum being driven by Mpange of Mean wood Kwamena, Lusaka, driving from north to south crashed.

She said the accident happened when the driver of the Scania truck was overtaking improperly and in the process hit into the Ipsum.

The driver of the Ipsum Mpange died on the spot while three passengers sustained serious injuries.

She said the body of the deceased was lying in Liteta Hospital mortuary waiting to be transferred to UTH mortuary while the three injured were admitted at the same hospital.

She said the driver of the truck was on the run.

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