Horrific bus crash in the Namib claims two lives

Niël Terblanché

Two female tourists, aged 69 and 72 succumbed to injuries on the scene of a horrific crash which involved three buses and a self-drive tourist car on the C214 Road between Walvis Bay and the Kuiseb River Canyon on Wednesday.

The crash occurred when the brakes of a Scania tour bus that was driving downhill from the direction of Windhoek, allegedly failed.

According to Chief Inspector Ileni Shapumba, the head of the community affairs division of the Erongo police, the driver of the bus lost control and smashed into a stationary bakkie and a smaller tourist bus that was parked next to the road.

After the first collision, the bus crashed into another bus that was driving in the opposite direction before falling over on its side.

Shapumba said the bus driving uphill had 32 passengers on board and that none of them sustained any serious injuries.

“The driver, a 47-year-old Namibian man, was, however, injured and later transported to the Welwitschia Private Hospital in Walvis Bay,” he said.

He said that the Scania bus had 22 passengers on board of which 20 sustained moderate to serious injuries.

“The two remaining passengers, two women aged 69 and 72 unfortunately succumbed to injuries on the scene of the crash,” he added.

Shapumba said all of the injured persons were transported by ambulance to various hospitals in Walvis Bay where they received medical treatment.

By Thursday morning, four of the injured persons had been discharged while 16 others were still recuperating in the hospital.

In the meantime, Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, the chief executive officer of the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund extended her deepest condolences to the families of the two people who lost their lives in the crash.

“The Fund wishes to assure the families that the injured will receive the appropriate medical care and attention they need,” she said.

She said that the MVA Fund is supporting those affected and closely monitoring their recovery.

According to Martins-Hausiku, foreign nationals in Namibia are entitled to medical treatment and injury management for the duration of their stay in the country.

She added that if a foreign national is fatally injured in a road accident in Namibia, they are eligible for a N$7,000 funeral grant.

“It is alarming to note that the recent Easter statistics revealed road crashes have risen by 6%, injuries by 19%, and fatalities by an overwhelming 60%. These figures not only reflect a shocking increase from the previous year but also signify a critical need for immediate intervention to ensure the safety of all road users,” she said.

Martins-Hausiku added that the safety of road users is of paramount importance because road crashes have devastating consequences that affect families, communities, and the nation at large.

According to Martins-Hausiku, the MVA Fund has noted that these crashes are often predictable and preventable through conscientious driving, strict adherence to road traffic rules and regulations, and planning long journeys while also avoiding driving at night when there is less visibility on the road.

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