No fewer than 16 persons died on Thursday in separate auto accidents in Lagos and Ondo states.
In Lagos, at the Abule Tailor bus stop end of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, a widow and trader, Alhaja Fatima Adebambo, died in a fatal accident involving a cement-laden truck with number plate, XA 298 WNN, and two other vehicles.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the accident occurred after a Nissan Serena bus, marked KTU 166 CX, and another car, marked LND 257 BP, rammed into the stationary Dangote truck on the middle of the busy expressway.
Adebambo, who drove the Serena bus, died on the spot, while the driver of the car, who was identified simply as Olaoluwa, sustained serious injuries.
It was gathered that Olaoluwa was initially rushed to a medical facility for first aid, but the doctor in charge advised that he should be taken to the nearest general hospital for comprehensive treatment.
Some residents of the area said the articulated vehicle had broken down on the road since Tuesday and had not been moved.
One of them, Matthew Olayinka, said the crash could have been avoided if the police and the Federal Road Safety Corps had responded to several calls to tow the truck away from the road.
He said, “The police and the FRSC personnel patrol the road nearly every 15 minutes; they cannot claim that they were not aware that a truck broke down the middle of the road. We even called 112 and 767, the telephone numbers dedicated for emergency. We are surprised now that they only came when the stationary vehicle has caused accident.”
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Another eyewitness, who gave his name as Saheed Sanni, said sympathisers and the police spent a lot of time to retrieve the mangled body of Adebambo from the wreckage of her vehicle.
Sanni said, “We had to search her bag before we found a telephone number which we dialed to inform the receiver, who happened to be her relative, that she was involved in a crash. We knew through our conversation with the receiver that she was a widow with children.”
Our correspondent, who visited the scene, learnt that some aggrieved boys had attempted to set the truck ablaze before policemen prevented them.
A policeman at the scene blamed the crash on speeding
He said the impact of the incident indicated that the two victims were speeding.
Attempts to speak with Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, over the incident were not successful as her telephone was switched off.
In Ondo State, about 15 people were burnt to death in a multiple road accident on Akure-Owo Expressway, at Alamurin village in the Owo Local Government Area.
An eyewitness said the crash happened at about 2pm, and involved three vehicles – a Toyota Hiace bus, belonging to a Federal Government agency, with number plate, FG 357 BOT; a Toyota Sienna bus, marked, LSR 163 AA; and a Nissan Privia bus, which registration was not visible as a result of the fire.
The eyewitness added that four occupants of the vehicles survived the accident, while the rest were consumed by the fire that occurred as a result of the crash.
He said, “The men of the Federal Road Safety Corps rushed the injured to the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, for treatment, while the dead were deposited at the mortuary of the hospital.”
Another source explained that two of the vehicles had a head-on collision, while the third bus rammed into them, and fire broke out, burning 15 occupants of the vehicles.
The Ondo State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr. Edward Zamber, confirmed the incident.
He said, “Our record shows that nine people lost their lives to the accident, while four were injured.”
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