By Idowu Olaide
A MULTIPLE ghastly motor accident involving a truck and six vehicles occurred at Coker bus-stop, along Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, Sunday, claiming three lives including that of a pregnant woman. A commercial motorcyclist popularly called Okada was trapped under the truck for hours while several people were injured.
Among the dead victims were another commercial motorcyclist, Mr. Chukwuma Aja, with identification card number 09765 from Association of Okada Riders, Lagos, Amuwo-Odofin Chapter, two passengers of the okada simply identified as Mr. Egbonu Emmanuel Chukwujekwu and Mr. Onyeka Anabuso, an indigene of Anambra, respectively. The pregnant woman was simply identified as Mrs. Mary.
The vehicles involved in the accident were two trucks with number plates XJ 442 SMK and XW 426 EKY respectively; two Saloon cars, a Vectra with number plate CV 199 SMK, a Mazda Millenia saloon car with number plate GG 373 LSK. A Federal Assisted Van with number plate XP 845 AGL as well as Rover 75 (2000 model) without registration number which was towing a second-hand car from Apapa-Wharf.
Seriously injured victims
When Crime Alert visited the scene around 5:50pm, same day, the corpses of Mr. Aja and Chukwujekwu were seen lying on the ground while four seriously injured victims including three men and a lady were rushed to one Elshadal Hospital for treatment. A medical team attached to Lagos State Ambulance Service with number plate LA 167 AO8 was seen around the body of the pregnant woman. Some onlookers said the woman died on the spot while others said she was unconscious.
However, the medical team prevented people from going closer to the prostrate body of the woman.
It was gathered that the gory accident occurred as a result of the recklessness of the driver of the truck with number plate XW 426 EKY. He was alleged to be speeding and had a brake failure.
In the process of maneouvering the truck from hitting another vehicle, it crushed the Okada rider and his two passengers. The driver of a Vectra car who came down in the traffic jam and other vehicles were also hit by the rampaging truck. The reckless driver of the truck took to his heels immediately after the accident.
The female owner of the Vectra car which was towing the Rover 75 (2000) saloon car said: “We were hooked-up in a long hold-up and my driver was outside the car assessing the gridlock when I just heard the loud horn of a truck. I looked at my side mirror to know what was happening. I saw the truck with speed moving towards our side. I shouted Jesus Christ and quickly alerted my driver and jumped out of the car. My driver was seriously hit by the truck and some other people in the mass transit. My driver was even among the people trapped under the truck.”
The woman who refused to disclose her name explained how her driver was rescued under the truck. She said: “I never experienced such accident in my life. When I was coming from Apapa to tow my Rover tokunbo (second-hand), I didn’t see towing vehicle because it was Sunday and I called my husband to get me one of our mechanics to come down with a car and tow the Rover.
“Now, my mechanic is involved in the accident and injured. And but for God’s mercies, my driver would have died. He was also under the truck but later rescued and rushed to the hospital. For over one hour after the accident, we did not see any policeman but we were told that another incident also happened somewhere that made them not to come on time. Though they came later and we were told to come to their station, yet we’ve not seen the driver of the truck. He ran away immediately the incident happened. But sincerely, I thank my God, because none of us in our vehicle died.”
When Crime Alert visited the Elshadal Hospital at 14, Ogungbesan Street, off Coker Bus-Stop, Apapa/Oshodi Expressway, the driver of the towing Rover saloon, Mr. Demola Akalejaye was seen on the bed in pains with his legs bandaged.
He said: “I can’t say how it happened but all I heard was Madam’s voice and later found myself under the truck. After I was rescued from under the truck, one rod entered my leg and seriously damaged it. The other leg was also broken. I’m still waiting for doctor to carry out scan and know how damaged are my legs.”
One of the doctors at Elshadal Hospital, Dr. Austin Akaehomen, who was on morning duty said: “I was not on duty when those victims were brought here but many were brought here, both with minor and serious injuries. I was told that those with minor injuries were discharged immediately they were given treatment. And now we have four victims remaining. They were the only ones with serious injury. One of them, Mr. Onyeka died yesterday. Those ones with us now are Mr. Damola Akalejaye, Mrs Mate Bello and Mr. Bakari Ibrahim.”