The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Tues­day, Novem­ber 22, 1966 — A three­tonne truck ca­reered down a hill . . . back­wards. Then it crashed into the ve­ran­dah of a house.

“It zigzagged down the hill ap­par­ently out of con­trol. It was quite fright­en­ing”, a wit­ness told Bu­l­awayo mag­is­trate’s court yes­ter­day.

Be­fore the court was truck driver, John Nkomo. He was fined a to­tal of £33 10s (or 36 days) on five counts brought un­der the Roads and Road Traf­fic Act.

He was ear­lier con­victed by pro­vin­cial mag­is­trate Mr RS Cole­man on counts of hav­ing in­suf­fi­cient foot and hand brakes, steer­ing and lights, driv­ing through a red robot and hav­ing an or­na­ment fit­ted to the front of a car which was likely to en­dan­ger other road users.

Mr Wil­liam R Di­plock ear­lier told the court that he was in his flat over­look­ing 14th Av­enue near its junc­tion with Main Street when he heard a “loud grat­ing of gears”.

He went to the ve­ran­dah and saw a truck, trav­el­ling back­wards, zigzag­ging down the hill. It went about 75 yards be­fore it crashed into a neigh­bour’s house. “Sud­denly the truck shot for­ward and drove back up the road, it went through red lights”.

The court heard that Nkomo was ar­rested later by the po­lice. When his truck was in­spected both foot and hand brakes were found to be “com­pletely in­suf­fi­cient”. The steer­ing wheel had to be turned at an an­gle of 120 de­grees be­fore di­rec­tion could be changed.

A ve­hi­cle in­spec­tor said he also found a “long sharp or­na­ment like the nose of an aero­plane” on the bon­net of the car.

Nkomo ad­mit­ted his brakes were de­fec­tive. But he pleaded not guilty to the other counts. “The truck had just come out of a garage. I thought it was road­wor­thy.”

He also de­nied driv­ing through a red robot.

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