Four vendors have been confirmed dead and thirty-two others critically injured in the Monday night accident in Gulu City. The people who died have only been named as Odoch Awach, Controller, Robert, and John by the Gulu Main Market Vendors Association.
The four were killed on the spot when a Canter vehicle registration number UBF 743B that they were traveling in lost control and overturned along Walter Opwonya Road in the Bardege-Layibi division at around 9:30 pm. The vendors were coming back from a mobile market in Koch Goma in the Nwoya district’s Lutuk Market.
The vehicle was transporting over forty vendors together with their merchandise and was driven by a man only identified as Anelka. The injured people are admitted to different health facilities in Gulu City, including Gulu Regional Referral Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital Lacor. Okeny Brian, Oola Jimmy, Kevin, Ocen James, Ajok Flora, Ashiraf, Auma Innocent, Odwar Dicken, Jacob, Grace, and Joyce were all hurt. They were named by Dice Opwonya, one of the leaders at Gulu Main Market.
Others are Geoffrey Owacha, Aber, Adong Esther, Opwonya, Aber, Oryem Simon, Ojok Alfred, Jesus, Ocen, Auma Patricia, Anena Kevin, Angole Isaac, Min Boy, Anyango Syliva, Alanyo Ruth, Aloyo Flavia, Ajok Jennifer. Some people were hurt in many ways, while others broke their arms and legs and got deep cuts.
James Ojwang, the Acting Principal of Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, says that they received 26 victims. He notes that eight of them sustained major injuries that will require surgery.
Damalie Nachuha, the Aswa River Region Police Commander, confirmed the deaths of four people and the injuries of 32. She says four people are in critical condition while others have stabilized.
On Tuesday morning, hundreds of people flocked to the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital mortuary and different health facilities in search of their loved ones. Eyewitnesses say that the truck overturned after hitting the pavement and rammed into a wall fence along the road. A source who claims he was at the scene at the time of the accident told URN on Tuesday morning that the driver jumped out of the vehicle before it had completely gone down and fled to safety.
However, police say that such information can’t be verified at this stage and will be investigated. Some of the vendors who asked not to be named told our reporter from the scene that this is the third time the same vehicle has been involved in an accident while transporting vendors. At an earlier press conference on Monday morning, Magambe Penninah, the Traffic Officer for the Aswa River Region, complained about how common road accidents were in the area. She said that the lack of police checkpoints made drivers and riders more careless.