Road accidents claim 163 lives, injured 573 others in 12 days

Patrick Okabe vehicle’s wreckage

Road accidents have claimed at least 163 lives and left over 573 nursing injuries in just a space of 12 days in December, the traffic police has said. That means on average, 15 people died every day in road accidents in the first two weeks of December.

Traffic police spokesperson Faridah Nampiima said 81 people died in the six days between December 4 and December 10. She added that the other 83 others died from Monday to Saturday of last week thus bringing the total of road deaths in 12 days to 163.

The 83 people who died in road crashes last week include four police officers Pius Epodoi, Marvin Odong, Sulah Kadede and Micah Muhindo. Their thirteen colleague officers have left nursing injuries. These are corporal Jacob Odong, PC Junior Peter Opio, PC Keneth Omara, PC Daniel Okello, PC James Candia, PC George Okura, PC Simon Ochora, PC Vincent Ekoju, PC Vincent Awuzu, PC John Okwera, PC Abraham Okure, and PC Torach Calvin who was the truck driver.

Patrick Okabe, the Serere County MP is the latest prominent victim of road crashes. He was killed alongside his wife Christine at 7 am today. The duo died after the driver of an Isuzu truck drifted from his lane and rammed into Okabe’s Land Cruiser. 

Nampiima said MP Okabe died on the spot while his wife breathed her last as she was being rushed to hospital. Even though earlier information on social media claimed that the driver had also died, Nampiima said he is alive but in critical condition in Mbale hospital. Most of the victims in the last two weeks have been boda boda riders and their passengers. By September 30, boda boda crashes had killed 1,020 people this year.

Siraje Mutyaba, the chairman of boda boda in central division, said they have been conducting sensitization programs through stage chairpersons aimed at making riders understand that they are responsible for their own lives.

“We have told them to be peaceful, to respect one another on roads and ensure they don’t cause any chaos. We are using the chairpersons of boda boda stages to talk to them and we want to have a peaceful Christmas and New Year’s period,” Mutyaba said.

December has for years been known for having the highest number of crashes among the 12 months that make a year. Although the national daily deaths on Ugandan roads stand at 10 people, the December fatalities tend to range between 12 and 14. 

Source: The Observer

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