Yeukai Karengezeka Herald Correspondent
A GRADE Two pupil at Farai Primary School in Chitungwiza was killed on her way to school when a Seddon Atkinson 10-tonne truck believed to be owned by a sand poacher crushed her head after failing to negotiate a turn. The accident occurred at around 7am at a T-junction in Unit N as Delma Marunza (8) made her way to school.
An eyewitness said the girl tried to dodge the vehicle, but this was in vain.
“I was fetching water from a well when I saw this truck trying to turn towards the direction where I was. I stopped to see how the driver would turn since there was a child at the curve.
“He proceeded to turn and the girl tried to jump into the water drainage system at the curve, but she fell down and her head got crushed by the back wheels of the vehicle,” said Mrs Memory Tapera
Mrs Tapera said she screamed to alert the driver who was unaware that he had crushed the child.
“The driver did not notice anything and I had to scream for him to stop his vehicle and that is also when neighbours came out to witness the incident. Someone had to use a brick to stop the vehicle because it had no brakes,” she added.
Residents alleged that the driver was once involved in another accident that claimed three lives.
The residents decried the poor enforcement of traffic rules by the police.
“We think there is lack of will from our police to deal with these sand poachers. The situation has even worsened now because they are coming to buy fuel at a house in this neighbourhood.
“We have experienced several other accidents caused by these unqualified drivers and last year a pregnant woman and another woman who was carrying a child died on the spot after being hit by similar vehicles,” said Mrs Fungasi Chibururu.
The father of the deceased child, Mr Shingirai Marunza, said he was hurt and pleaded with the police to ban the trucks from operating in high density suburbs.
“I am very hurt that I have lost my child due to somebody’s recklessness, worse driving that kind of a truck in locations. This driver has a reputation of speeding.
“These trucks that carry poached sand have been a major problem in our area and it pains us that the police are not taking action against the perpetrators. Their vehicles are not even road worthy,” he said.
Police confirmed the incident and said investigations were still in progress. The truck driver is likely to face culpable homicide charges.