LA PAZ – Ten people died and 15 were injured when two trucks collided in the western Bolivian province of Oruro, the head of that region’s Traffic Accidents’ division, Maj. Juvenal Ossio said.
The accident occurred Friday near Vila Vila – a town 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the city of Oruro, the provincial capital – when the vehicles carrying both cargo and people collided head-on, Ossio said.
Eight people died instantly and two others perished at a hospital, while the 15 people injured were taken to medical facilities in Oruro.
One of the trucks was carrying coca leafs to the eastern province of Santa Cruz, while the second was transporting empty glass bottles and heading to La Paz.
Bolivia, like neighboring Peru, allows cultivation of coca – the raw material of cocaine – in limited amounts for legal uses in cooking, folk medicine and Andean religious rites.
The driver of the truck carrying the coca presumably caused the accident by swerving into the other vehicle’s lane.
The government has been trying to reduce the number of traffic accidents in Bolivia.
President Evo Morales’s administration enacted a law last January that cracked down on bus drivers caught working drunk, inexperienced drivers and drivers who work excessive hours.
The measure’s goal is to reduce accidents, which kill an average of 1,000 people and injure 40,000 others annually, according to International Automobile Federation figures, in this Andean nation.