At least three persons are believed to have died in a ghastly motor accident in Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi state.
The accident, which occurred at Enugu/Abakaliki express way by G hostels junction on Saturday, involved two trucks with plate numbers KL 319 YY and UGB 743 XA.
There were varying accounts of how the accident occurred.
The Truck with plate number KL 319 YY according to eye witness account hit five persons. Three of them were suspected to have died at the scene.
A source, who pleaded not to be named, said the trucks carelessly changed lane and the second truck in a bid to collide with the first one ran into some bike men on the pavement.
“This truck KL 319 YY was coming from the lane of those coming into Abakaliki with a high speed while the other truck came through hostel side, the other one from hostel axis was entering without looking well, then the truck from the other lane which was on speed on noticing the truck with plate number UGB 743 XA tried to dodge, he then hit the bike men on the pavement at his lane and jumped into this other lane.
“He nearly killed a man on another bike by this lane but the bike man who noticed on time jumped out from his bike into the drainage while the truck crushes the bike and the bag of melon on it.
“One of the bike the truck on speed hit felt under the other truck which was also carrying sand. One of the men who was still alive at the time of the accident had his two legs crushed and his hands,but i doubt if he would survive it though his heart was pumping but he was motionless. Also a child of about 4 to 6 years was involved in the accident he was unconscious while his father was suspected to have died in the same accident.
The source said that the motorcycles involved in the accident were about five.
He also commended the Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC, officers who responded quickly to the situation.
“Thank God for the prompt response by the FRSC officials who took all the victims to the hospital. Though the FRSC men did not accept that the 3 persons whom people consider dead were actually dead but I am sure that hospital will confirm them dead.
Another source alleged that both lorries were on the same lane, while the one carrying sand trafficated, the other one on speed also put head without noticing the trafficator thereby colliding the truck with sand.
“Both trucks were on the same lane to Preaco area, and the one carrying sand wanted put trafficator to negotiate to the slow lane but did not look well, then the one on speed on noticing the one that was entering the slow lane tried to avoid him but could not as he lost control and the vehicle jumped into the other lane. Thank God the bike rider on that lane who was carry melon noticed and jumped out of his bike. If not he too would have died in the accident because the tipper ran on top of the bike and hit a fence there.
“One of the bike man who died in the accident is from Ikwo local government area of the state, the man was popularly known as Nwankwo, while another man there the one whose legs and hand were damaged is from Izzi LGA. l” the source said
Also affected in the accident was an office belonging to Elymay Nigeria limited along the express way which part of the fencing and security wire was destroyed.
Meanwhile both truck drivers survived without any injuries.
An official of the FRSC, who was at the scene refused to comment on the incident.
He asked this reporter to come to their office on Monday to hear from the State Commandant.
According to him, the Commandant is the only one in the state authorised to talk on the incident.
Ebonyi government reacts
Meanwhile, Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi has condoled with families and victims of the accident.
In a statement issued by the Special Assistant (SA) to the Governor on Social Media, Emmanuel Igwe, the governor expressed dismay over the incident and consequently directed that speed breakers be placed along the road from Onuebonyi junction to EBSU permanent site axis of Enugu/ Abakaliki expressway.
The Governor noted that his administration has constructed three flyovers and a pedestrian bridge to end incessant accident along that road.
He added that his administration would continue to ensure safety of lives and property of residents of the state at all times.
The Governor, however, cautioned motorists and other road users against over speeding.
He also urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Ebonyi State Command to increase monitoring along that road.