Tears freely flowed along the Okija axis of the Onitsha-Owerri Road recently as four people died in an auto accident last Sunday, including a mother and her child, reports Jude Atupulazi.
The accident, Fides learnt, occurred at around 3pm at a police checkpoint where a trailer’s brakes failed, leading to it crashing into two commercial Nissan buses with reg numbers AAH 836ZV and AWK 278 YD. The trailer had no reg number.
An eyewitness report had it that the trailer driver on approaching the checkpoint, failed to stop the vehicle due to faulty brakes and ramed into the buses being checked by policemen.
Sixteen people were reportedly involved, with four confirmed dead by officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC. The victims included a male child, a female child, seven male adults and seven female adults, with twelve sustaining injuries.
FRSC sources said the surviving victims; all occupants of the buses, were taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Ihiala for treatment, while the dead were deposited in the hospital’s mortuary.
The Sector Commander of the FRSC, Adeoye Irelewuyi, advised motorists to ensure regular checks on their vehicles, as well as keeping within prescribed speed limits.
The Okija/Ihiala axis has regularly experiences accidents which have been attributed to over speeding.
Meanwhile, the FRSC has pegged the casualty figure at four as against thirteen claimed by eyewitnesses.
This is even as Fides can report that eyewitnesses heaped the blame on the police for the accident, accusing them of hindering traffic flow and setting the scene for such accidents.