01 Jul 2015 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 01 JUL (NAMPA) Twenty-four people escaped with slight to serious injuries when the driver of the vehicle they were transported in lost control and overturned on the Western Bypass on Tuesday.
The incident occurred at about 17h20 when the light goods vehicle belonging to African Personnel Services (APS), carrying 22 passengers, left the road and rolled several times before landing on its back.
According to City Police Spokesperson, Constable Cillie Auala, the driver of the company vehicle who escaped unharmed, allegedly lost control of the vehicle after another vehicle changed lanes on the dual-lane road, swaying towards the pick-up vehicle and nearly colliding with it.
As a result of trying to avoid contact with the other vehicle, the pick-up vehicle left the road, ending up in a ditch nearby the University of Namibia (UNAM)s School of Medicine campus.
All passengers were rushed to the Katutura Intermediate Hospital (KIH), with five seriously injured and 18 with slight injuries.
Auala said the City Police can no longer tolerate the issue of company vehicles transporting passengers in goods vehicles and open pick-ups.
She said the accident could have been avoided if the vehicle was not overloaded with passengers.
This is an indication that some company owners do not have respect for the lives of their employees and thus continue to overload them in open vehicles, said Auala.
She also questioned the role of unions when it comes to the issue of public safety, saying that when it comes to the safety and transportation of employees, they are nowhere to be seen.
Auala noted that it is not the duty of the police alone to ensure that employees safety is enforced in every organisation.
APS Branch Manager in Windhoek, Frikkie Engels confirmed the incident to this agency on Wednesday, saying the accident was caused by the bursting of the right-rear tyre of his companys vehicle.
He added the driver was within the legal speed limit on that road. Engels noted that the company is in the process of investigating the presence of nine extra passengers, as the vehicle, with a closed canopy which is modified to transport people, is only allowed to carry 15 passengers, specifically APS employees.
Meanwhile, a City Police vehicle, which was stationed in the road to caution oncoming traffic that there was an obstruction in the road because of the above accident, was hit by a vehicle when it failed to stop.
This incident occurred at about 18h40 after the Volkswagen pick-ups breaks failed.
The pick-up only had two occupants in it; they both escaped uninjured. The City Police vehicle was unoccupied during the accident.
In another incident, a woman was rushed to the KIH with serious injuries after the taxi she was in collided head-on with another vehicle on Florence Nightingale Road in Khomasdal on Tuesday.
The accident occurred at about 19h00 when the white sedan taxi, which was heading in an easterly direction, tried to turn into the Gammams Shell Petrol Station but collided with a grey Volkswagen approaching from the opposite direction.
According to police officers at the scene, the driver of the Volkswagen warned the driver of the taxi with his headlights that he was approaching but the driver of the taxi ignored and turned.
Three other passengers sustained slight injuries.
No one was injured in the Volkswagen vehicle, which only had two occupants.