The accident occurred near Baham in the Upper Plateux Division of the West Region of Cameroon, precisely at a locality called Lagweu along the Batié-Baham stretch of the Bafoussam-Douala motorway.
Eyewitness accounts say it was about 4:00pm Sunday that the incident occurred at a locality near Baham. A 30-seater bus with registration number NW284 AF belonging to SINCERITE Travel Agency heading to Douala collided with a truck with registration number OU 629 AO.
22 persons including the driver of the two vehicles are said to have died on the spot of the incident while others were injured.
It perturbed traffic along the Bafoussam-Douala highway for hours. Upon receiving information of the tragic occurrence, West Governor Awa Fonka Augustine rushed to the scene.
“The driver of the coaster bus was on the opposite side and eventually came in collision with this truck. As a result, there was this accident which we have registered so far 22 deaths,” the Governor said at the scene of the accident.
The injured cases were rushed to the Baham District Hospital and the Bafoussam Regional Hospital.
Meanwhile, the remains of the 22 victims have been taken to the Bafoussam regional hospital mortuary as investigations into the exact cause of the accident continue.
Witnesses however say excessive speed and carelessness on the part of the bus driver are to blame for the bloody accident.
Road accidents in Cameroon account for an average of 1200 deaths every year with material damage estimated at over CFAF 100 billion, the Ministry of Transport revealed late last year. According to a statement by the ministry issued while marking second anniversary of “Road Safety Communication Days”, such accidents result in 4,000 to 5,000 injuries, including dozens of people disabled for life. The Douala-Yaoundé and Yaoundé-Bafoussam-Douala axes are the most accident-prone, with nearly 70 percent of accidents, the statement said.
It added that despite the multiplication of road safety and prevention campaigns, road accidents have increased to become one of the main causes of death in Cameroon, after malaria, cancer and deaths related to cardiovascular accidents (CVA).
For the NGO SECOUROUTE specialized in road safety, most accidents are caused by speeding, hazardous overtaking, vehicle condition and other factors related to fatigue and distractions while driving.