SWAKOPMUND/OMUTHIYA – Namibia experienced one of the bleakest weekends with at least 59 people being involved in five accidents, killing 23 and injuring about 32 others.
Fourteen people died in a single accident between Kalkveld and Omaruru, four between Otavi and Tsumeb, three between Outapi and Oshakati, one in Windhoek and another in Walvis Bay. Two drivers of the vehicles involved were arrested for drunk driving and are currently receiving treatment under police guard in hospital.
The first accident occurred on Friday evening around 17h35 between Kalkveld and Otjiwarongo.
According to police in the Otjizondjupa Region, a white Toyota Quantum minibus carrying 42 people overturned about a kilometre from Kalkveld, killing 13 people on the spot. The bus driver died later in Windhoek to make the fatalities from this accident at 14.
The occupants were travelling from Okamatapati to Swakopmund for a church event when the left rear tyre of the vehicle burst, resulting in the driver losing control over the minibus and causing it to overturn at a curve.
The deceased were identified as Justine Tjiuoro Hijarunguru, 55, Uakasuva Eveline Katjeringo, 48, Runaa Humbuu Emgard, 37, Kakuhire Katjeringo 13, Uripi Rukero, 29, Mehepa Hipundjua Rukero, 7, Kuvango Willem, 10, Tuahanka Willem, 4, Tuauana Isaak, 1, Mbeurora Lipange, 14, Vizamuje Kavari (6 months old), Menesia Kaninganazo and Siegfriend Hausiku whose ages are unknown. The deceased driver was identified as Sila Kalola.
A further four people died on the spot on Saturday afternoon when a seven-seater Toyota sedan they were travelling in collided head-on with an Angolan registered Ford Ranger about 30 kilometres from Tsumeb en-route to Otavi.
The deceased, including a minor, were not yet identified. Six people who sustained injuries were being treated in Tsumeb and were in a stable condition, according to the Oshikoto police.
One person also died at the coast on Saturday evening when a white Opel Corsa sedan with three occupants overturned about 10 kilometres before Walvis Bay when the driver lost control over the vehicle.
The deceased was identified as Shikalepo Matheus Hamutenya, 47, who died at the scene. Both the driver and another passenger are currently being treated at Walvis Bay state hospital.
The driver was also arrested after he was found to be above the legal limit of alcohol consumption for people behind a steering wheel.
He is currently under police guard at the hospital.
Another driver was also arrested on Saturday evening between Outapi and Oshakati after he allegedly bumped three pedestrians around 20h00 with his Toyota Landcruiser.
Two of the pedestrians (women) died as well as a toddler that was carried on the back by one of the women. The deceased are Selma Kakolo Kahungu, Martha Aipanda and the baby, Loide Latenda Fillipus. The driver is expected to appear today in the Outapi Magistrate’s Court.
Another person died on Friday afternoon between Windhoek and Gobabis when his vehicle collided with a truck. The vehicle, due to the impact, burst into flames killing the driver of the sedan, Werner Beddies, 47. The truck driver, who sustained serious injuries, managed to escape before the fire reached him.