RWAMAGANA/KARONGI - At least 40 people were injured when the vehicles they were in got involved in accidents over the weekend.
In the first accident, over 35 people aboard a bus heading to Rusumo from Kigali were injured, after their vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with a pick-up truck.
According to an eyewitness, the bus was hit by a speeding DAIHATSU pick-up, while trying to over take a trailer at a sharp corner.
No one died, but several passengers including the two drivers, sustained serous injuries. Five of the injured were transferred to Kigali Central Hospital, while the rest were treated at Rwamagana Hospital.
A Police officer at the scene, blamed the accident on reckless driving.
“The driver of the pick-up was in the wrong by any traffic standards…how could he overtake in this slopping sharp corner?” he said.
Charles Kabano, the driver of the commuter taxi who sustained fracture on his left leg, also blamed the pick up driver for the accident.
“How could he try to over take a long vehicle in such a corner? I just don’t understand what influenced the driver…there was no way I could avoid him.”
Dansilla Mukayisenga, one of the survivors of the accident told The New Times from her hospital bed at Rwamagana that they survived miraculously.
“I was seated just behind the driver, when I saw a vehicle approaching at a high speed. I knew it was the end of my life, but surprisingly I am still breathing,” she said.
Meanwhile, the second accident happened along the Karongi-Kigali highway involving a commuter taxi and an Onatracom bus, injuring four people
The taxi, registration number RAA 037T reportedly tried to avoid a head on collision with the bus approaching from the opposite direction. It swerved off the road and fell in a trench.
Those who sustained major injuries included the driver who was identified as Phillip Katabarwa and his conductor.
Alongside two other passengers, residents immediately rushed the driver and his conductor to Rufungo Health centre in Karongi district, where they were treated and later discharged.
Speaking to The New Times shortly after the accident, Katabarwa claimed that the bus was travelling on the wrong lane
“The bus driver was travelling on the left side of the road and when I tried to dodge him, the car fell into the trench,” Katabarwa said from hospital.
By press time, Police could not readily establish the exact cause of the accident.