What you need to know:
- The truck had 18 people on board.
- The driver is said to be on the run
At least five people are confirmed dead while seven others are admitted at Soroti regional referral hospital after a Fuso truck transporting cattle from Kotido District veered off the Soroti –Mbale highway and plunged into Awoja swamp on Wednesday night.
By 10:30pm, Soroti police had managed to retrieve bodies of the victims from the shallow water, while at least 10 carcasses of cattle remained lying in the water following the 9:30pm road crash at the dreaded sharp bend near River Awoja. The truck had 18 people onboard.
Mr Hammed Kizza, one of the survivors who was seated in the co- driver’s seat at the time of the crash attributed it to reckless driving.
“I kept pleading with our driver not to over speed because the truck we were using is old but he never took heed,” Mr Kizza said.
He said five of his fellow cattle traders from a business trip Kotido died on the spot while the survivors were evacuated from the scene by the Soroti regional referral hospital medical workers at around 10pm.
Mr Kizza said they were heading to Kibuku and Butembo districts where they had planned to sell the animals.
“The driver who is among the survivors is on the run,” the businessman who also lost four heads of cattle in the road crash revealed.
Another survivor, Waiswa Kulia said: “I don’t know how we are going to break this sad news to the families of these young colleagues who have died.”
The police spokesperson for east Kyoga, Mr Oscar Ageca attributed the cause of the accident to possible reckless driving.
“We managed to reach the scene on time, and rescued those injured who are now being attended to by the medical workers at Soroti regional referral hospital,” he said.
Mr Ageca added preliminary investigations into the cause of the accident point at possible over speeding at a sharp corner which forced the truck off the road before it overturned.
According to police, the scene of the crash is a hotspot for road carnages.