Botswana
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‘Somehow I survived!’

Passenger relives horror A3 crash that killed 16.

“Piercing screams of dying people and those in pain were the only sounds one could hear in the dark.”

His trembling voice never rising beyond a whisper, this is the narrative of Omphile Sugar Mototegi, one of the lucky survivors of the road accident that claimed 16 innocent lives on Thursday night.

It seems the crash, which occurred at around 7:30pm along the A3 road between Mafungo and Hubona villages (near Sebina Crossing), was caused when a mini-truck bound for Francistown veered into the wrong lane and smashed into an oncoming combi.

Compounding the disaster, following close behind, a second combi was unable to stop in time and ploughed into the wreckage.

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26-year-old Mototegi walked away with a scratch to the forehead.

However, while the physical scars will heal with time, the mental trauma will remain with the Senete native until his dying day.

He tells The Voice he was drifting off to sleep when the collision occurred.

“The sad part is that I cannot tell what exactly happened because, after we passed Orapa junction, I dropped my head as I was tired. I only heard a loud bang and everything happened so fast. I found myself outside the combi, with people scattered on the grass,” recalls Mototegi, who works as a conductor on another route but had been on the Maitengwe combi catching a lift back home.

“It was very bad and scary, my sister. People were crying. There was blood and bodies everywhere. I do not want to think about that, it was terrible!”
Describing the carnage that followed, Mototegi, who was in the combi that hit the dyna, reveals the impact of the crash reduced the vehicle to a scrap of mangled metal.

“The whole backseat, boot and roofing was ripped off!”

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Taken to Nyangabgwe Hospital via ambulance, Mototegi was treated and discharged the same evening.

“I do not even know how I survived,” he adds glumly.

He is already struggling with trauma.

“I am now scared of getting in a car, but there is no how I can get around without using a car. Now when I get into a car, I drop my head so I do not see what is happening,” he says.

A close friend to the Maitengwe combi driver who lost his life in the accident, Mototegi says his immediate focus is on helping bury his mate at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Tatitown Acting Superintendent, Modise Kgathang, rubbished rumours circulating online that the death toll had increased from 16 to 23.

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Speaking to The Voice on Wednesday afternoon, the top cop stated, “I can confirm that the numbers are still at 16; 14 who died on the spot and the two who died the following day at Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital.”

Kgathang did, however, disclose there were still seven individuals hospitilised – two in critical condition, including the driver of the dyna, while the other five were described as stable.

The top cop further revealed that the part of the road where the deadly accident occurred had been fixed [for potholes] a week ago.

The ages of the dead ranged from a three-year-old boy to an old woman of 75.

The deceased came from villages across the country, including: Mmadinare, Maitengwe, Tatisiding, Dukwi, Tsamaya, Thamaga, Kutamogoree and Nkange.

Five foreigners lost their lives in the tragedy, originating from Zimbabwe (three), Congo and Somalia.

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