In a tragic incident on Thursday morning, two students lost their lives, and 31 others were injured when the school bus they were traveling in collided with a stationary truck. The accident occurred near Awoja Primary School along the Soroti-Mbale road.
The students, along with their teachers, were on their way to Masese in Jinja City for a Geography study tour. The bus, belonging to Busitema University and registered as UG 191E, crashed into a stationary truck, a Mercedes Benz with the registration number UBL 709T/UA0781C.
The East Kyoga acting police spokesperson, Mr. John Robert Tukei, identified the deceased students as Susan Alwedo and Simon Peter Eriku. According to Mr. Tukei, the accident took place at 4 am when the bus driver, who is currently missing, swerved to avoid a head-on collision with an oncoming truck, leading to the collision with the stationary truck loaded with pine logs. Investigations into the accident are ongoing.
Mr. Tukei also mentioned that the 31 injured students, who are in critical condition, are receiving medical treatment at Soroti regional referral hospital.
The school’s head teacher, Mr. John Baptist Ekou, revealed that the students had departed from Kaberamaido at 1 am. However, around 4 am, he started receiving distress calls from both teachers and students regarding the crash. Upon arriving at the scene, they found that two students had tragically lost their lives.
Among the injured is the school’s director of studies. Mr. Ekou explained that they had hired three vehicles to transport over 125 students, but when the accident occurred, the other two vehicles returned to the school.
Mr. Athanasius Ariemo, the medical officer coordinating emergency services at Soroti regional referral hospital, received a call about the accident at around 4 am. He immediately arranged for three ambulances, two from the regional hospital and one from the Red Cross, to rescue the injured.
Mr. Ariemo reported that the bodies of the two deceased students are in the mortuary, while 24 survivors who were seriously injured are responding well to treatment. He mentioned that they received support from Princess Diana Hospital in terms of fluids for the injured.
Kenneth Opio, a senior four student who survived the crash, expressed his terror and hope for a speedy recovery to be able to take his upcoming national exams, which are just days away.