Taxi driver testifies in Post Bus accident case

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SOURCE- $Times_of_Zambia

A TAXI driver yesterday testified in the Kabwe High Court that he was driving behind a truck that collided with a Post Bus, an accident which led to the loss of 50 lives.

Albert Luputa, 49, of Chibombo District testified before High Court Judge Eddie Sikazwe in a case in which a farmer, Abraham van Eeden, 75, is facing 50 counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Particulars of the offence are that van Eeden on February 7, this year caused the death of 50 people in Chibombo district due to dangerous driving.

Mr Luputa said on the day of the accident, around 07:30 hours as he was taking a passenger to John Chinena Market, he witnessed the accident.

He said he was driving behind an orange truck with two trailers that collided head-on with the Post Bus.

He said as the truck reached a curve, there was a Post Bus coming from the direction of Kabwe and a Land Cruiser was behind the bus.

Mr Luputa said the Land Cruiser overtook the Post Bus in the right lane and collided with the oncoming Truck on the right side.

He said when the Land Cruiser hit into the truck, its right wheel came off and the bumper fell off, causing the Land Cruiser to go into the bush.

Mr Luputa said at about 90 metres away, he saw the truck lose control and hit into the oncoming Post Bus head-on.

He testified that he drove to Chibombo Council to inform the fire brigade and just before 08:00 hours, he returned to the scene of the accident with the fire brigade and together with others, he started removing the bodies of passengers from the Post Bus.

During cross-examination, Mr Luputa failed to estimate the distance between him and the truck that he was following and how far he was from where the Post Bus and the truck collided.

The court then moved out of the court room to help Mr Luputa estimate the distances.

Mr Luputa could not, however, clearly guide the court on the distances and the matter was adjourned to move to the scene of the accident.

Meanwhile, a Road Transport and Safety Agency motor vehicle examiner told the court that on February 7, this year, after being informed by a motorist near the Kabwe roundabout about the accident, he drove to the scene.

Andrew Chinyimba, 62, said after examining the three vehicles at the scene of the accident, he observed that the bus had its roof ripped off and was extensively damaged.

He said even the other two vehicles involved in the accident were extensively damaged and he could not carry out tests on any of them.

Mr Chinyimba said after the examinations he carried out at the scene, he concluded that what could have caused the accident was some force of gravity or misjudgement by one of the drivers of the vehicles.

Trial continues.

Times of Zambia