By Our Reporter
SOROTI: The East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesperson Oscar Gregg Ageca on Wednesday evening confirmed five dead while others were still missing following an accident at Awoja Bridge.
The regrettable incident happened on Wednesday at around 8pm at the bridge which is located along Soroti – Mbale highway.
According to Ageca, the accident involved a Fuso Lorry registration number UAN 443J as the traders were returning from Kotido district in Karamoja sub region.
Preliminary findings indicate that the FUSO Lorry was over speeding while loaded with cattle before an incident.
Five traders died on the spot while the survivors were rushed to Soroti Regional Referral Hospital while in critical condition.
Sources say that the bodies of the deceased persons have been retrieved from the scene and conveyed to Ngora Fred Carr hospital for postmortem and claiming by their loved ones.
Agecca says that the vehicle was carrying 19 cattle traded from Karamoja and most of the traders involved in the accident are from Bugisu sub region whereby they were heading to Mbale when their truck veered off the road and entered into Awoja River.
”We haven’t identified the particulars of the deceased personnel,” he said.
Vincent Epeduno, an eye witness at the scene says the truck had just passed the Awoja check- point where the police attempted to stop it but the driver ignored and sped off.
He says that the Fuso lorry veered off the road to avoid a head- on- collision with a trailer coming from the opposite direction.
Survivors speak out
Kizza Hammed, one of the survivors who was seated in the co- driver’s seat at the time of the crash told TNN that there were 18 people onboard and out of them five died instantly and others rushed to hospital.
Hammed attributed the cause of the accident to reckless driving.
“I pleaded with the driver not to go over speed because the truck we were using was old but he never took heed,” Mr Kizza said.
He noted that they came from Kotido while heading to Kibuku, Budaka and Butembo districts where they had planned to sell the animals.
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.”
With tears in his eyes Kulia said that it was saddening to lose close friends in an accident that would have been avoided.