Friday, February 26, 2021

Matsha School accident: some students still not accounted for

Fresh information has surfaced suggesting that an undisclosed number of students from Matsha Senior Secondary who were involved in the accident have not been accounted for.

It is suspected the missing students fled the accident scene when they realized that some of their compatriots had died.

Police are appealing to the missing students to report to the nearest police station.

The accident happened Friday afternoon along the Kang-Letlhakeng road.

Over a hundred students were in an open truck.

According to the Police, the students who were travelling with their deceased counterparts are believed to have escaped without or with non-life threatening injuries and for unexplained reasons fled the scene before the arrival of the Police and rescue teams.

The Telegraph has unearthed information indicating that the Police also intend to interview some students who alighted from the truck before the accident could happen to get a full account of events prior to the horrific accident.

In an interview, Divisional Traffic Officer South Assistant Police Commissioner Engemadzo Sechale said they are appealing to survivor students who deserted the fatal accident scene to get in touch.

“From what we have gathered, we understand that some students who left the scene of accident sustained no injuries and decided to seek alternative forms of transport to complete the remainder of the journey,” said Sechele. 

He added that although they innocently deserted before the arrival of Police details, they are bound by the law to give as much detail as possible in order to complete investigations. 

“We are appealing to the students to report to any nearest Police Station and record their accounts concerning the accident. Such information is vital to the completion and closure of the case.”

Sechele said investigations are still ongoing to determine what might have caused the accident.

“We will rope in forensic experts as part of the investigation team to carry out a forensic audit and determine the causes.”

He said police have   recorded statements from some students who were passengers in the same truck; the number does not include those who dropped off when they arrived at their respective destinations prior to the accident or deserted the accident scene because they did not sustain injuries. 

Sechele said such information is vital as it would help paint a clearer picture of what transpired before and during and after the accident.

At the time of going to press, the police had managed to record statements from the driver, passersby and about 40 out of the 126 students. 

“The health status will determine when the recording of statements from those injured and detained in hospital for observation and treatment. The investigating team will also assess the truck’s carrying capacity, to avoid guess-work on overloading,” said the police boss. 

He said what the police have so far discovered is that one rear wheel is flat, possibly out of a burst.

“But this alone cannot be conclusively said to be a cause for the accident.” 

Postmortem on the deceased students was conducted Monday, continuing into Tuesday to determine the cause of death, pending funeral arrangements.

Sechele also appealed to members of the public who witnessed the accident to volunteer additional information that would assist Police investigations.

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