At least 15 people died in road accidents across the country during this year’s Christmas and Boxing Day holidays celebrated from December 24 to December 27, police have confirmed.
During the same period last year, road accidents killed 11 people nationwide.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said the 15 died in 15 fatal accidents out of the 16 road accidents that were registered nationwide during the three-day period.
He said seven deaths were recorded in the Central Region where eight accidents occured; four deaths were reported in the Southern Region; three deaths were reported in the Eastern Region whereas one death was reported in the Northern Region.
Last year, out of the 14 recorded road accidents, nine occurred in the Central Region where six people died while three happened in the Eastern Region where three people died. Two accidents and two deaths were recorded in the Northern Region while the Southern Region registered no accident.
“As police, we have attributed the increase to irresponsible behaviour of road users such as motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Most of the road accidents recorded during this period were due to behaviours that police have been advising against throughout the year.
“For instance, in Ntcheu and Salima on December 26 and 27, two over-speeding vehicles hit two pedestrians and a cyclists killing one person in the process whereas in Phalombe, on Christmas Day, a man was killed when a vehicle ran over him when, in his drunken state, lay on the road at night,” said Kadadzera.
In a related development, three people died on Christmas Day in Phalombe.
According to Phalombe Police Station spokesperson Augustus Nkhwazi, two other people died in road accidents while the other incident involved a six-year-old boy hit by a crumbling wall of a house whose roof was blown off by heavy winds.
“The incident happened on Christmas Day when the deceased and his 18-year-old brother were inside the house. Due to the impact of the fallen wall, the six-year-old died on the spot while his brother was rushed to Holy Family Mission Hospital where he is receiving treatment. The deceased’s death was confirmed at Mulomba Health Centre and post-mortem indicated it was due to severe internal injuries,” said Nkhwazi. n