WHEREAS most families in Lagos are still full of thanks to the Almighty God for surviving year 2009, some who though sailed through the year also,Â are already mourning reports Albert Akpor and Ifeanyin Okolie
EXACTLY 12 mid-night of December 31, 2009 the entire country and of course, Lagos state was agog with jubilation.Â People, irrespective of religion and creed, trooped out of their homes and worship centers praising God for sparing their lives through the year and praying for a prosperous new year and beyond.
That air of festivity which heralded the coming of January 2010 is still fresh in most families across the country.Â However, in Lagos, it has been an admixture of joy and sadness for some families following the death of their members in auto- crashes.
Just two days in Lagos metropolis, four motor accidents were recorded while five people lost their lives in the process.
January 15 and 17,Â 2010, would for ever remain black Friday and Sunday respectively for those families in Lagos whose loved ones were hurriedly sent to the great beyond during those separate accidents.Â Even those who sustained serious injuries and are recuperating at various hospitals would never forget in a hurry,Â the incidents which have almost incapacitated them.
For one Iya Fummi, a lone survivor of one of the auto incidents, who is currently lying critically ill in the hospital, life will never remain the same as she will live to recall the Fridayâ€™s auto crash, where she watched in shock, the death of two other female occupants who were with her in the same car before the tragedy.
Time was 9.30 amÂ The trio drove in a car with plate number GG 252 AAA and were heading to an unknown destination when they had a head-on collision with a fast oncoming trailer- truck marked XT 635 FKJ at Ibeju Lekki area of the state.
According to an eyewitness, â€œThe trailerÂ was running at an unprecedented speed and was coming from the opposite side when it eventually lost control and rammed onto the smaller car which was apparently moving on a moderate speed.
The driver of the truck who identified himself as Umaru attempted to flee from the scene after the accident but he was promptly prevented by sympathizers and other motorists.Â He was apprehended and given the beating of his life and was almost set ablaze becauseÂ some people were already calling for petrol to that effect after seeing the lifeless bodies of two occupants of the smaller car but for theÂ timely intervention by policemen from Elemoro Police Station who were drafted to the scene.Â The driver was immediately rescued and taken to the station.
Similarly, on that same day, traffic police officers atÂ Oshodi Police Station had a hectic period as they worked relentlessly to clear the roads of heavy traffic following a multiple accidents which also claimed two with five others badly injured.
According to an eye witness, one of the victims who was a commercial bus conductor,Â Â lost his life after the 911 Mercedes Benz bus popularly known as â€˜Molueâ€™ with Reg. No. XC 455 AKD, which he was conducting, lost control and ran into a stationary trailer with registration number XT 940 AKDÂ The Molue was driven by one Saka Ayinla.
â€œThis Molue was responsible for this accident because as you can see, the trailer was packed under the bridge close to Akpakun saw mill along the Oshodi\Apapa expressway when the driver for whatever reason rammed into it; killing the bus conductor while four persons were seriously injured.â€
The other accident involved a commercial bus with Reg. No. XL 429 LSD.Â The vehicle apparently lost control and ran over two pedestrians walking by the side of the road.
Eye witnesses said, the commercial bus was on top speed from the airport end and at the ever -busy Oshodi bus stop, it apparently failed brake and cleared two innocent persons from behind who were waiting to catch a bus to their destinations.
The victims who were identified as Kadiri Lateef and Mohammed whose other names was not given,Â were rushed to a near -by hospital by sympathizers.Â However,Â Lateef was later confirmed dead by doctors at an undisclosed hospital.
The last victim of the two days accidents was oneÂ Nurudeen Lateef, a motorcyclist.Â HeÂ lost his life after he was knocked down by aÂ Man_Diesel truck along old Abeokuta Road, Agege, Lagos.Â As usual, traffic police men from Abattoir Police station visited the scene and evacuated the deceased to a public mortuary for autopsy while the driver of the truck, oneÂ Akinbola Akinfemi, was arrested.
Police advices on carful driving culture
Reacting, the Lagos state police public relations officer, Mr. Frank Mba advised motorist to be more careful and abide by traffic rules.Â Mba said life is sacred and therefore, should not be wasted as a result of sheer negligence.Â â€œ
The Lagos state police command in wishing residents of the state happy new year, and is also urging motorists to exercise caution while driving.
There are acceptable speed limit and the moment you undermine that, it become a problem.Â Life has no duplicate and people should ensure that their vehicles are road worthy before putting them on the roads.â€ he advised.