Trial shifts to Zampost Chibombo accident scene

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chibomb road accident
TRIAL involving 74-year-old Mkushi farmer Abraham van Edeen, who is accused of causing the death of 51 people when a Zampost bus collided with a truck in February, yesterday shifted to the accident scene in Chibombo.

This is in the matter where van Eeden is facing 51 counts of causing death by dangerous driving, contrary to Section 161(1) of the Road Traffic Act number 11 of 2002 of the Laws of Zambia.
Information before the court was that on February 7 this year, van eeden caused the death of 51 people while driving a Toyota Land Cruiser registration number ABH 2214 on the Great North Road in Chibombo in a manner that was dangerous to the public.
Kabwe High Court judge in-charge Eddie Sikazwe granted the State an application for trial to shift to the accident scene to enable an eye-witness, Albert Luputa, be cross-examined at the scene.
This was after senior State advocate Gamaliel Zimba applied that in the interest of justice, it was only fair that Mr Luputa was cross-examined at the scene by the defence if he was to give satisfactory evidence.
At the accident scene, from about 13:10 hours to 13:39 hours, Mr Luputa gave a detailed account on how he witnessed the accident on February 7 this year.
Van Eeden, who was walking with the aid of a stick,  listened attentively as Mr Luputa was testifying.
As Mr Luputa led the court to different spots, traffic officers from the Zambia Police and Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) controlled the flow of traffic on the Great  North Road.
Earlier, trial shifted outside Kabwe High Court, where Mr Luputa gave estimations on the positions of the Zampost bus, the accused person’s Toyota Land Cruiser and the truck and trailer before, during and after the road accident.
“First, I saw the LandCruiser [coming from the northern direction] overtaking the bus and it later collided with the truck, which lost control and collided with the bus,” Mr Luputa said.
He also said van Eeden’s vehicle also lost control and later veered off the road and rested near a hill.
Mr Luputa, who was driving his Toyota Corolla from Chibombo to John Chinena, said the accident happened around 07:30 hours on February 7 and that he rushed to Chibombo District Council to inform the fire brigade about it.
He told the court the positions of the vehicles before and during the accident.
Mr Luputa also said he assisted the fire brigade to remove the dead passengers from the Zampost  bus.
“We started removing people from the bus. Many were dead and we were putting them in one place…I can’t know the exact number of the people who were dead,” he said.
Mr Luputa also recalled that he was driving his vehicle at 70km per hour but despite driving behind the truck, which was laden with mealie-meal, he could not tell at what speed the truck was moving.
He said the accident happened at a curve when the driver of the truck and trailer hit into van Eeden’s vehicle after which he lost control and collided with the Zampost bus.
Trial continues today.

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