Liberty Dube and Luthando Mapepa
A hearse transporting a corpse for burial in Checheche, Chipinge was on Sunday involved in a horror crash that killed the driver on the spot.
Mr Stephan Gwatidzo, who was on his way from Shamva, was driving the hearse when he was involved in an accident along Ngundu-Tanganda Road in the wee hours of Sunday.
Acting Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Wiseman Chinyoka confirmed the accident.
“The driver of the hearse, Mr Stephan Gwatidzo of Harare, was driving a Toyota Hilux truck along the Ngundu-Tanganda Road carrying a corpse. He was heading to Checheche for the burial of the deceased.
“Upon reaching the 245km peg, he lost control of the vehicle and it swerved to the right before overturning. Mr Gwatidzo was thrown out of the vehicle, sustained head injuries and died on the spot. The body that was being transported did not sustain any injuries and was later taken to Chanda Village for burial,” said Asst Insp Chinyoka.
“We continue to urge motorists to exercise extra caution on the roads by adhering to road traffic rules,” he added.
Witnesses who arrived at the scene a few minutes after the accident told The Manica Post that the funeral services company reacted swiftly after the incident which occurred near Nyautsa River in Middle Sabi.
Said Mr Reketayi Mahachi: “I was in a ZUPCO bus which was coming from Checheche and when we approached Nyautsa River in Middle Sabi around 3am only to realise that the hearse had overturned.
The driver of the hearse was already dead. Other passengers informed the police at Middle Sabi Police Station.
“It did not take long for the police and another hearse to arrive and pick up the coffin from the accident scene. The coffin was partially damaged,” said Mr Mahachi.
The incident comes hardly three weeks after another hearse carrying a Honde Valley man, Mr Caleb Mapaya, was involved in a freaky accident that left his corpse defaced.
Mr Mapaya’s coffin was broken into pieces, leaving the corpse laying on the ground.
His widow, Mrs Cecilia Chingaya-Mapaya who was seated next to the driver of the hearse, was thrown out of the vehicle and trapped underneath.
She was rushed to Hauna District Hospital but later succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident.
The driver of the Harare-based funeral services vehicle, Mr Chatadza, is said to have lost control of the Mitsubishi Colt double cab, resulting in the vehicle veering off the road.