Victor Maphosa Herald Correspondent
THE Heroes and Defence Forces holidays’ death toll increased to 17 yesterday after six people died, while 20 others were injured when a Toyota Hiace with 26 passengers on board hit a grid, veered off the road and rolled several times before landing on its roof at the 24km peg along Bulawayo-Nkayi Road.
Five passengers died on the spot while the driver died on admission to Mpilo Central Hospital.
Police attributed the accident to speeding and overloading. Prior to yesterday’s accident, the death toll was at 11 and 81 injured with the latest figure increasing the number of the injured to 101.
At least nine people died, while 47 were injured during the same period last year. There were 75 road accidents this year compared to 56 during the same period last year.
National Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the most fatal accident, which claimed seven lives, occurred near Beitbridge on Monday morning, while the highest number of injuries, 31, were recorded near Mvurwi on the same day.
“We recorded at 17 deaths this year nationwide compared to nine deaths due to road traffic accidents last year. We also recorded a total of 75 accidents this year compared to 56 last year while 101 people were injured this year compared to 47 last year,” he said.