Death toll in Haiti truck accident climbs to 26

Published April 8, 2012 11:27PM (EDT)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The number of Haitian merchants who died in a truck accident outside the Caribbean nation's capital climbed to 26, the government said Sunday.

President Michel Martelly's office said in a statement that the passengers died when their truck flipped on National Highway (hash)2 near the western town of Petit Goave. Thirty people were wounded, the office said. The truck was filled with merchants transporting goods to the countryside.

Ronald Louis of Haiti's Civil Protection Office said Saturday that the brakes on the truck failed as it tried to drive up a steep hill, causing it to roll backward. It then veered off the side of the highway.

Authorities initially reported that 20 people were killed and 40 injured in the accident.

Fatal traffic accidents are common in impoverished Haiti, where police seldom enforce traffic laws and many vehicles are overloaded with passengers.

In January, as many as 29 people died on one of the capital's busiest streets when a truck's brakes failed and the driver crashed onto a sidewalk and ran over street vendors and motorcycle drivers.

By Salon Staff

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