A GRADE Five pupil died on the spot while a man was critically injured after they were hit by a speeding commuter omnibus while crossing a road in Bulawayo yesterday.The speeding kombi hit Natasha Tshuma, a pupil at Gampu Primary School and Mr Bongani Sibanda — a conductor with a kombi from which the pupil had just disembarked from — at a zebra crossing at the Rio turn-off in Matshobana suburb.
Mr Sibanda, who was helping Natasha to cross the road, was rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital with serious injuries.
The accident occurred at about 7AM while Natasha was on her way to school from Pelandaba suburb.
Natasha’s grandfather Mr Ephraim Sibanda said he was devastated by his granddaughter’s “painful death.”
“The devil came in the morning. My granddaughter was taken in a painful way,” said Mr Sibanda.
He said Natasha started commuting to school on Monday as she usually stayed with him in Matshobana suburb, about 150 metres from her school.
“Her mother was staying in South Africa and when she came over the weekend, she requested that Natasha visits her and we allowed the visit. So yesterday (Monday) she came to school from Pelandaba suburb,” he said.
Mr Sibanda said they thought it was good for the child to stay with her mother.
“Today (yesterday) was supposed to be her second day but tragedy struck as she was hit by a car while trying to cross the road being assisted by a conductor. She died on the spot,” he said.
Mr Sibanda said one of his daughters saw Natasha’s body lying on the road while on her way to school and she rushed home to inform the family
He said his wife collapsed when she heard her granddaughter had died in a car accident.
|Speeding Kombi Runs Over Grade 5 At Zebra Crossing|
Mr Enock Bako, the driver of the kombi from which Natasha disembarked, said: “I had asked Bongani to accompany the child at the zebra crossing when the two were hit on the inner lane. The kombi was speeding and it suddenly hit Bongani on the arm and ribs while the child was dragged for about five metres towards where I had parked my kombi.”
When a Chronicle news crew arrived at the scene, a sombre atmosphere had engulfed the area with teachers and some residents bursting into tears as police took away Natasha’s body.
Acting Bulawayo Provincial Education Director Mrs Ollicah Fikelephi Kaira said the Ministry was mourning with the family as it was difficult to lose a child.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said the speeding driver has been arrested and would appear in court soon.
She appealed to drivers to exercise caution on the roads.
Source: The Chronicle