Herunga survives carnage, daughter dies
Environment and Tourism Deputy Minister Uahekua Herunga survived the horrific accident that killed nine people between Okahandja and Otjiwarongo on Sunday– but lost two relatives in the carnage, including his daughter.
Police yesterday confirmed that that the accident occurred after the rear tyre of a minibus traveling from Okahandja to Otjiwarongo burst, prompting the driver to lose control and swerving into oncoming traffic.
The minibus, the police explained, then crashed head-on into the Hilux Bakkie of Herunga.
A few seconds later a Ford bakkie and Toyota Auris collided with the first two cars killing nine people and injuring 18 on Sunday afternoon.
By yesterday, seven of the deceased from the horror accident had been identified, although the name of Herunga’s daughter and her cousin were not officially announced.
The accident, which closed the road at the Okonjoka River for hours, happened shortly after 17:00 on Sunday afternoon about 10 km north of Okahandja.
According to the Regional Crime Investigations’ Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Moses Khairabeb, neither the police nor the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund could confirm how many passengers were traveling in each vehicle. According to some eye witnesses the mini-bus was apparently loaded with 20 passengers.
“Our primary focus was to save the lives of those who survived the crash by ensuring that they were transported from the scene to hospital in the shortest time possible,” said Catherine Shipushu, Manager: Corporate Communication of the MVA Fund Service Centre.
The MVAF yesterday expressed concern over crashes involving mass casualties that have occurred recently.
According to the MVA, 77 mass casualty crashes has been reported this year alone. This resulted in the death of 63 people while and 608 people have been injured. (Mass casualty crashes are accidents in which 10 or more people are involved.)
“We need to contain the carnage on our roads. There are too many unnecessary deaths which are causing extreme pain and suffering to families and communities. The MVA Fund also strongly appeals to road users to exercise extreme caution, especially during times when the roads are congested due to large volumes of vehicles.”
The deceased that have been identified are Reinhard Seibeb, the driver of the microbus, Eben Garoeb, Sam Garoeb, Shaun Narib, Juliana Naris, Kalenda Naris and Safina Kharuxas.