•The deceased include the President of the Apostolic Church in western Province
Eight people died after a vehicle they were travelling in along Musanze Highway, rolled several times into a river on Saturday night.
According to police the speeding Toyota Land Cruiser lost control as it approached the Mukungwa River bridge and rolled into the river, one kilometre from Ruhengeri town, Musanze district.
One person survived the fatal accident which occurred at 2am, while eight bodies were retrieved from the riverbed, yesterday morning, after 10 hours of searching, by the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) and the National Police Marine divers from Gisenyi.
The passengers who were coming from a wedding in Kigali; included Pastor Jean Louis Ubuzinda, the president of Apostolic Church in the Western Province, his wife Nyiragaju Theresa and members of the church choir.
According to Imanazabayo Clementine, the only survivor, two boys were also given a ride from Nyirangarama in Rulindo heading for Nyabihu district.
Residents fought back tears, as they witnessed the STRABAG constructors use excavators to retrieve the vehicle which still hadfive bodies in it.
Imanazabayo, narrated that by the time of the accident, all passengers on board were tired and sleeping.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is said to have been transporting people from a wedding ceremony in Nyakabanda, Kigali and was heading for Gisenyi.
The Regional Police Commander, Chief Supplemented Rogers Rutikanga, said that cause of the accident had not been established, but suspected that the driver could have had fatigue.
River Mukungwa, is joined by streams from L.Burera and L.Ruhondo. Recently farmers stopped cultivating from the swamps adjacent to this the river, resulting in a high tide.
This accident comes barely a fortnight after five people died in two separate road accidents along Ruhengeri-Gisenyi road.