An ambulance driver, who had been charged with culpable homicide, was acquitted yesterday. The court ruled that the accident, which killed a patient she was rushing to hospital, was beyond her control.
Christina Madhara was found not guilty after a full trial by Harare magistrate Simon Kandiero.
Madhara is a holder of Classes 1, 4 and 5 driver’s licence and is employed by Baines Clinic as an ambulance driver.
The court also noted Madhara’s experience as an ambulance driver and the monitoring of her driving behaviour by her employer.
On September 16 last year, Madhara was driving Emily Saidi, 73, to Trauma Centre in Borrowdale, from Dandaro.
Madhara lost control of the ambulance along Borrowdale Road and it veered off the road, hit a pole and landed on its left side.
Saidi died two days after the accident.
In denying the offence, Madhara told the court that she never drove negligently because she was an experienced ambulance driver.
She said she was used to operating emergency vehicles and making quick decisions in high stakes situations while typically transporting patients facing time sensitive conditions.
She told the court that she could not have recklessly driven an ambulance while transporting a patient knowing of the potential effects her driving could have on the patient’s health, wellbeing and safety.
She said the ambulance had a GPS tracking system and her employer was monitoring her driving behaviour, patterns and speed in real time.
She argued that Saidi was already ill when the accident occurred, and the State was unable to prove that the accident caused her death.