Eight vendors are feared dead and several others are critically injured following a Monday night accident in Gulu. Around 9 p.m., there was an accident on Walter Opwonya Road in the Bardege-Layibi division.
It involved a Diana truck, registration number UBF 743B, which was transporting vendors from a mobile market in Lutuk in Nwoya district. The vehicle was being driven by a man only identified as Anelka.
Eyewitnesses say that the truck was carrying about 40 vendors with their merchandise when it overturned after hitting the pavement and rammed into a wall fence along the road. Our reporter, who visited the scene shortly after the accident, saw the bodies of seven women and one man.
The other accident victims had broken arms and legs, and deep cuts on their bodies and were bleeding profusely. Some of the vendors were unconscious by the time they were evacuated from the scene. Some other vendors were stuck underneath the vehicle with their merchandise.
Residents worked with the police and army to get the injured people to hospitals like Gulu Regional Referral Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor.
Some of the bodies were also bundled into ambulances and police trucks by rescuers and were reportedly taken to the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital morgue. The driver reportedly left the scene without being hurt, according to the police, the army, the Uganda Red Cross Society, the office of Gulu City Woman Member of Parliament Betty Aol Ocan, and people who ran to help.
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 a road accident this year.
One of the vendors recalled that on October 18, 2022, several vendors were injured after the same vehicle overturned in Lamogi Sub County in Amuru district while being driven by Anelka. Another vendor said that he opted not to board the vehicle when he saw the driver drinking alcohol before takeoff time.
By the time of filing this story, police and the army were yet to tow the vehicle from the scene. At a press conference on Monday morning, Penninah Magambe, the Traffic Officer for the Aswa River Region, complained about the high number of car accidents in the area, which police say are caused by reckless driving because there are no police checkpoints.
Police have called on road users to exercise maximum care and safety while using the roads.