WINDHOEK – The Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) yesterday announced the death of four people who lost their lives in a road accident late on Monday.
MVA corporate communications manager, Catherine Shipushu, conveyed messages of condolence to the families of the four who lost their lives in Monday’s tragic crash.
“According to information reported to the Fund’s Call Centre, the crash was a side-swipe collision between an Iveco bus and a truck travelling in opposite directions, which occurred approximately 40km outside Otjiwarongo towards Otavi at around 23h40 last night (Monday),” stated Shipushu.
The bus was carrying 20 people including the driver, 16 of whom sustained various injuries.
Four people died, three at the scene of the crash, while the fourth person, believed to be a teenager, was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Otjiwarongo State Hospital.
Two patients were transferred to Windhoek this morning, one by air ambulance and one by road. Both are currently receiving treatment at the Windhoek MediClinic Hospital. One patient suffered severe head injuries while the other sustained an upper leg fracture.
Six of the injured were expected to be admitted to the Katutura State Hospital yesterday afternoon.
The status of the remaining eight patients is to be confirmed at a later stage, but they are currently receiving treatment at the Otjiwarongo State Hospital.
The accident was the second fatal crash involving a mini-bus in the last four days. The first crash occurred on Friday, December 6 at 18h50, when a mini-bus carrying 16 people including the driver, overturned on the Usakos–Arandis road. The driver lost control of the vehicle after its rear tyre burst. One person died on the scene while six sustained moderate to serious injuries.
Night driving –
a contributing factor
Past experiences have shown that driving at night when visibility is compromised is dangerous and more so when driver fatigue is a possibility. Driver fatigue is one of the common causes of road crashes, particularly over long distances more so during this time of the year. Additionally, the majority of fatal crashes that involve public transport occur at night.
Since the beginning of the Festive Season Road Safety Campaign on November 22, a total of 188 crashes have occurred on the national road network, translating into an average of 10 crashes per day.
Eighteen days into the campaign, the country has lost 19 lives as a result of preventable road crashes.
The Fund has thus noted with concern the high number of fatalities on Namibian roads. So far, the number of fatalities for the year to date (December 9) which stands at 569 has already surpassed the total number recorded for 2012, which was 561.
With the festive season in full gear, traffic volumes are also increasing. The Fund therefore appeals for road silence at night and calls for trucks to be parked between 22h00 and 05h00.
Likewise, the Fund appeals to all those who use public transport to consider travelling during the day, as a way to curtail road crashes. Furthermore, all drivers are urged to keep their lights on at all times in order to increase their visibility to other road users.
The Fund wishes those injured a speedy recovery and calls upon all road users to exercise extreme caution particularly when driving at night.
By Staff Reporter