RUSAPE: The death toll in the road accident involving Smart Express and Bolt Cutter buses, which side-swiped each other on Wednesday evening, has risen to 50.
Police Officer Commanding Rusape District Superintendent Isaac Gowe said 45 people died on the spot, while five others died yesterday morning at Rusape General Hospital.
The accident occurred at the 156km peg along the Harare-Mutare Highway.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said preliminary investigations showed that the driver of the Smart Express bus, who was coming from Mutare, overtook a haulage truck and a Toyota Wish vehicle in a prohibited zone.
She said in the middle of overtaking, the driver saw an oncoming bus and tried to return to his lane, but failed.
“In a bid to avoid a head-on collision, he swerved off the road to the extreme right, hit the Bolt Cutter bus on the left side. Both buses sustained extensive damage, which resulted in the killing and injuring of passengers,” Charamba said.
Meanwhile, police are still hunting for the bus driver and conductor of Smart Express Bus who fled the accident scene and have not been found since.