AN OVER speeding driver of a Jussy Bus Registration number UAH 882R yesterday drove into a Ministry of Health double cabin UG 2064M leading to the death of several people. By press time, atleast 5 people had been confirmed dead. The accident happened at Kanyaryeru, 30km on Mbarara – Masaka Highway.
The Kampala bound bus rolled several times after hitting the double cabin which was transporting kits for the immunisation programme in Western Uganda. Scovia Kemirembe, a fishmonger who was on the bus told Red Pepper at the scene of the accident that the driver was over-speeding and refused to take caution from the passengers to reduce the speed. “The speed was too much, and suddenly, I was awakened to a loud bang and the bus rolled several times,” Kemirembe who was on her way to Kampala to treat chest pains told us moments after the accident. Shocked volunteers embarked on a mission of rushing the injured people to Mbarara Hospital without separating them from the dead.
One of the volunteers at the scene who tremendously aided the injured was Red Pepper Director, Arinaitwe Rugyendo. “This is a very tragic thing. The humane behavior shown by the Police and other travelling public here is something laudable! They are using personal cars to transport the injured. If they can’t be rewarded for doing the right thing, God will surely do,” Rugyendo told our reporter. By press time last night, Police had officially confirmed five people dead including a three-year-old, whose mum had not been identified.
The dead include Fred Kiggundu a resident of Nkere in Makindye who was identified by his passport number BO453069. Others are John Ahimbisibwe, a teacher, Rose Namakula, Loy Freddie and unidentified three-year-old. AIP Traffic Officer, Emilio Kazimoto confirmed the accident but said he was not sure of the exact number of the dead for the toll would easily shoot up. Our reporters who were camped at Mbarara Hospital till late in the evening where the survivors were rushed to, said the staff was overwhelmed with the number of the injured.
The injured; both male and female lay on the same beds whimpering in pain, our reporter said. Strange as it may sound, in a spell of one hour on Saturday, three major accidents had happened on Masaka – Mbarara Highway involving heavy trucks.
Just last month, another deadly accident happened on the same highway. However, this accident involved a Horizon Bus. Atleast 30 lives were lost when the bus caught fire after the accident in Marongo. Since then, travellers have called on long distance bus operators to deploy police officers who would control bus drivers from overspeeding. This has not been done. Jussy Bus was a few months back involved in a fatal accident along Ishaka – Kitagata road in which five students died. The wreckage is still rotting away at Bushenyi Police station.