Seventeen people perished in a head-on collision involving an Isuzu double cab vehicle and a BMW in Mutoko on Sunday night.
The horrific accident occurred near Mazarura Farm, at the 130km peg along the Harare-Nyamapanda Highway.
“The ZRP confirms the death of 17 people in a fatal road traffic accident which occurred at the 130 kilometre peg along Harare-Nyamapanda Road on December 27, 2020 at around 1740 hours,” police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said in a statement yesterday.
“A white Isuzu KB double cab which was travelling towards Murewa had a head-on collision with a white BMW vehicle going in the opposite direction. Fourteen people died on the spot while three died on admission at Mutoko Hospital.
“The driver of the Isuzu vehicle died on the spot. The bodies of the victims were taken to Mutoko District Hospital for post-mortem and those injured were also admitted at the same institution.”
Nyathi said eight of the victims had been identified by their next of kin as follows: Sandra Kanobata, a female adult, aged 19, of number 14 Rufaro Street, Chinzanga Mutoko; Abigail Chitimba, a female adult, aged 30, of number 14 Rufaro Street, Chinzanga Mutoko; Major Mushumbi, a male minor, aged seven, of number 14 Rufaro Street, Chinzanga Mutoko; Nyasha Chikuza, a female minor, aged seven, of Chitsaka village, Chief Mutoko, in Mutoko; Masimba Rutsito, a male adult, aged 39, of Chingamuka Village, Chief Mutoko, in Mutoko who was the Isuzu driver; Kupakwashe Rutsito, a male juvenile aged 13 of Chingamuka village, Chief Mutoko, in Mutoko, and Samuel Mapuranga, a male minor, aged two years of Estalia village D, Kadoma.
Witnesses said the Isuzu was travelling towards Murewa with an unknown number of passengers on board, while the BMW was heading in the opposite direction with an unknown number of passengers. It is reported that upon approaching the 130km peg along the Harare-Nyamapanda Highway, Rutsito, who was driving the Isuzu, encroached onto the opposite lane resulting in a head on collision with the BMW.
Nine bodies are yet to be identified. The injured were ferried by well-wishers to Mutoko District Hospital.
The Mutoko accident followed another one that claimed the lives of five people near Juru Growth Point on Unity Day (December 22).