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Sam Mtukudzi dies in car crash

Happier times ... Mtukudzi and son, Sam, on a recent UK tour

15/03/2010 00:00:00
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Zimbabwe mourns Sam Mtukudzi
Click to see more photos

OLIVER Mtukudzi’s son, Sam, died in a car crash in the early hours of Monday, his family confirmed.

He was set to turn 22 on April 1.

Saxophonist Sam was the only passenger when a Tata truck driven by his sound engineer Owen Chimhare struck the rails of a bridge just before the Kuwadzana Extension off-ramp along the Harare-Norton road.

Police were called to the scene just after 1.20AM, but the two men were already dead.

The national Traffic Police spokesman Inspector Tigere Chigome told New Zimbabwe.com: “The accident happened at 1:20AM. The driver of the Tata pick-up Owen Chimhare and the passenger Sam Mtukudzi died on the spot after sustaining serious head injuries.

“What happened is that the vehicle veered off the road and rammed into the right side of the bridge's rails and ploughed into the river bank below.

"We don’t know where they were coming from, or what caused the vehicle to veer-off the road. We are still investigating."

Oliver Mtukudzi’s nephew, Tapiwa Mtukudzi, said from the UK: “It’s sadly true, we lost him.”

Sam, widely tipped for greatness, has recorded two solo albums and has his own band, the Ay Band.

The band, which has a heavy influence of jazz, performed mainly at corporate events in Zimbabwe. He regularly joins his father on foreign tours.

Sam’s death will come as a tragic blow to his father who has been nurturing his undisputed talent – convinced that his legacy is secure.

Mtukudzi, who was in South Africa when he heard the news, was said to be “totally destroyed” and travelling back to Zimbabwe on Monday.

See also The Truth About: Sam Mtukudzi

Talent ... The late Sam Mtukudzi


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