Five pupils and a teacher from Hillcrest National Technical Secondary in Livingstone have died in a road traffic accident, while 10 sustained serious injuries in an accident that occurred on Great North Road near Kozo Lodge 5 Kilometers South of Choma at about 22 hours on Friday night.
Those that died were identified as Hayungu Titus grade nine, Banda Gabriel grade 12, Kaputa Mukumbi grade 11, Siame Remmy grade 12, Robby Zulu grade and Sikaaswe Siyasiya a teacher.
Assistant Police Public Relations Officer Esther Katongo said the five died on the spot while one who was among the two that were being evacuated to Livingstone Central Hospital died on the way.
In a statement issued yesterday, Ms Katongo said the accident involved was a Mitsubishi Rosa bus registration number AJC 5110, a property of Hillcrest National Technical Secondary School driven by Joseph Kafwimbi Mwape, 35 of highlands in Livingstone.
She said the bus which was heading to Canicius Secondary School from Livingstone for a Coca Cola sporting event, was involved in an accident with a DAF truck ,registration number ABZ 8175 and a trailer number 8175T which was stationary.
She said the accident happened when the driver of the Minibus who was overtaking a stationed truck in the process hit into the same truck as he tried to get back to his lane upon seeing an oncoming motor vehicle.
“Due to the impact, 6 passengers, of which 5 are pupils and one teacher died, 10 were seriously injured and 9 are admitted to Choma General Hospital while one has been evacuated to Livingstone Central Hospital.
“20 were treated as out patients, the driver escaped without injuries, five bodies have been deposited in Choma General Hospital mortuary while one is in Livingston General Hospital Mortuary and the driver has been charged with Causing Death by dangerous driving,”Ms Katongo said.
General Education Minister, John Phiri expressed regret on the untimely death of five pupils and one teacher from Hillcrest National Technical Secondary school.
Dr Phiri Minister conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased and the school management and further informed the nation that all funeral expenses will be borne by Government and all arrangements will be communicated in due course.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Ministry of General Education Spokesperson Hillary Chipango said the ministry has also suspended the Coca Cola sporting event that was scheduled to start yesterday in Monze at Canicius Secondary school.
The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) has expressed sadness by the death of the five pupils and a teacher from Hillcrest National Technical High School who died in a road crash in Choma last night. Preliminary accident investigations conducted by the RTSA have revealed that the driver of the mitsubishi Rosa registration number AJC 5110, Joseph Kafwimbi Mwape, caused the crash due to overspeeeding.
The report has further revealed that the crash happened when the driver of the bus was overtaking a stationed truck in the process hit into the same truck as he tried to get back to his lane upon seeing an oncoming motor vehicle.The Agency has questioned the school authorities why the bus was allowed to move at night and therefore putting the lives of the pupils at risk.The crash happened about about 22:00 hours in Choma.
RTSA would therefore like to appeal to motorists to always exercise caution and patience when travelling at night. At night visibility is poor hence motorists should drive at moderate speed and ensure the road is fully visible.