THREE passengers, including a minor, onboard a pirating Toyota Noah drowned when the vehicle was swept away after its driver attempted to cross a flooded river in Zvishavane at the weekend.
The three got out of the car through the windows but unfortunately drowned.
The other seven passengers and the driver managed to disembark from the vehicle and swam to safety.
Acting police spokesperson for Midlands Province, Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende confirmed the incident which she said occurred on Sunday around 6PM at Mutorahuku River near Kashamba Primary School on the outskirts of Zvishavane town.
She said the pirating Toyota Noah had 10 people on board.
“Police in Zvishavane are investigating a case in which three passengers drowned after the driver of a vehicle they were travelling in tried to cross a flooded river.
“The incident occurred on Sunday at around 6PM at Mutorahuku River near Kashamba Primary School on the outskirts of Zvishavane,” said Asst Insp Mukwende.
She said the deaths could have been avoided if the driver had not attempted to drive across the flooded river.
“Circumstances are that on the said date one Cornelius Manduku (48) of Village Runyararo under Chief Jahana in Insiza was driving a Toyota Noah from Zvishavane on the way back to Insiza with 10 passengers on board.
“Upon arrival at Mutorahuku River near Kashamba Primary School they found the river flooded,” she said.
Asst Insp Mukwende said the driver proceeded and attempted to cross the flooded river resulting in the car being swept away with 10 people on board.
She said the police identified the three deceased passengers Tariro Makwa (24), Aneno Manduku (39) and a minor Gertrude Mudhonga (9).
“The three, Manduku, Makwa and Mudhonga got out of the car through the windows and unfortunately drowned, while the other seven passengers and the driver managed to swim out of the flooded river,” said Asst Insp Mukwende.
She said the matter was reported to the police in Zvishavane who then attended the scene.
Asst Insp Mukwende warned motorists against crossing flooded rivers.
“We appeal to motorists to exercise extreme caution and never attempt to cross flooded rivers.
“The rainy season is upon us and most rivers will be flooded so drivers should not risk lives by attempting to cross flooded rivers and streams,” she said.