By Charles Kakamwa and Jackie Nambogga
Traffic flow at the Owen falls dam along the Jinja-Kampala highway was paralysed for about two hours on Saturday afternoon following an accident involving three vehicles at the bridge.
The 2.20pm accident happened when a truck Reg. No. UAG 746P that was loaded with an excavator, heading to Kapchorwa district in eastern Uganda met in the middle of the bridge with a trailer Reg. No. KAW 646L / ZB 7197 that was on its way to Kampala.
The officer in charge of traffic at Jinja police, Dickson Rugundana explained that as the two heavy vehicles tried to bypass each other, part of the trailer touched the arm of the excavator forcing it to slide off its carrier.
“It fell down and in the process hit and damaged a passenger taxi that was heading to Kampala,” Rugundana said
He however said all 14 people in the taxi Reg. No. UAN 741A survived with minor injuries while the driver of the trailer and that of the truck were not injured at all.
Rugundana blamed the accident on failure by the truck driver Fred Lule to adhere to traffic regulations at the bridge. He explained that before crossing the bridge, all ‘wide vehicles’ are required to stop and alert police at the site so that the way is cleared for them, a procedure Lule ignored.
“The truck driver just entered the bridge and in the middle of it met another heavy vehicle yet the bridge is narrow,” he said adding that motorists are required to drive at 20 kilometres per hour at the bridge.
Rugundana said Lule, who first hid after causing the accident, was later arrested and will be taken to court to answer charges of reckless driving.
Rugundana cautioned motorists to adhere to traffic rules. He said the police have started deploying heavily along major highways as the festive season approaches to crack down on reckless drivers.
He added that there were two fatal road accidents in the region in the month of September, including one at Kakira along the Jinja-Iganga highway in which 14 passengers perished.