By: Justicia Shipena
At least 18 people perished in two freak accidents along the Okahandja-Otjiwarongo B1 road in the last 24 hours.
The first incident happened between Otjiwarongo and Okahandja around the morning hours of 03:00 and 04:00.
The car accident occurred 14km outside Okahandja towards Otjiwarongo on Friday.
According to Otjozondjupa regional police spokesperson Inspector Maureen Mbeha, a Volkswagen Golf sedan hit a wild animal.
“The driver then lost control and collided with an oncoming quantum bus. Upon impact, the cars caught fire,” she said.
Mbeha said 14 people in the bus and one person from the golf vehicle passed on.
“This brought the total number of people who died in that accident to 15,” she said.
She stated that the victims are not yet identified, and police investigations into the matter continue.
Another accident occurred 5km South of Okahandja towards Windhoek at 20:50 on Thursday.
The incident involved two cars that collided, and three people died.
“A 51-year-old woman, 25-year-old and a three-year-old died,” she said.
Mbeha called on all motorists to drive with extra caution on the public road.
An eyewitness said it was a horrific accident, and it is uncomfortable to speak about.
“I was there, I even captured a video of it, and I saw the cars burning. If when I left, the fire was still moving towards the dry grass as well.”
She said there were no police or emergency services when she arrived at the scene.
“When we tried to approach the scene to figure out how we could, we couldn’t do anything; the flames were intense.”
She said she could not see any clothing of some sort because the fire was intense.
Marshal ranger, Sean Naude, told The Villager that those on the scene describe it as tragic.
“Only three people managed to escape the quantum when it caught fire,” he said.
Naude added that the road area where the accident took 15 lives needed to be cleaned up.
“When vehicles burn, they kind of melt into the tar, and that needs to be cleaned up. It is a lot of clean-up, and people must be cautious.”
He further said a lot of work has to be done by the Namibian police to get hold of the next of kin and identify the victims.
“The persons were burned beyond recognition, and it is always difficult to identify people in accordance to this.”