THREE PEOPLE died on the spot while eight others sustained critical injuries following an accident on the Musanze-Kigali highway yesterday.
The gruesome accident occured in Nemba sector, Gakenke District at around 6:45am after the driver of a taxi, registration number RAC 676B lost control due to failure of the braking system.
The taxi was heading to Kigali from Rubavu with 18 passengers on board, according to police.
The deceased were identified as Jean Claude Niyigena, 32, who happened to be the conductor, Beatrice Mukamana, 39, and Olvier Iralinda, 31.
The injured were rushed to Nemba Hospital for treatment.
The Hospital director Jean Baptiste Habimana said two of the victims were transferred to Kigali Central Teaching Hospital (CHUK) under critical condition.
One of those transferred lost an arm while the other had cervical trauma, according to medical diagnosis.
Divine Uwamaliya, one of the survivors, said they sensed there was a problem with the braking system after the driver failed to slow down at humps in Musanze town.
“We became nervous when he failed to slowdown at humps and asked him whether we would travel safely but he kept quiet. We sensed more danger when we slopped Buranga corner at breakneck speed. Everyone started yelling and in a few seconds, the accident occurred,” Uwamaliya said.
The driver, identified as Simeon Twagirayezu, took off after the accident. But police said they were still searching for him.
Superintendent Emmanuel Hitayezu, the Northern Province police spokesperson, said similar accidents have happened at the same spot before.
He said the driver could have prevented the accident if he had done mechanical tests before embarking on the journey.
“Drivers should value the lives of passengers and drive carefully. They should also endeavor to service their vehicles,” Hitayezu said.