By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
Truck drivers on Friday took over major roads in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State to protest the alleged killing of over nine persons and one of their members in a fatal motor accident in the area.
The incident which happened at about noon on Thursday around popular Upper Iweka area was reportedly caused by the officers of the Anambra State Transport Management Agency (ATMA) following an altercation with a truck driver.
Information gathered by New Nigeria has it that the truck driver took a one way drive and the ATMA officers on duty in the area made effort to stop him, but the driver was adamant and moved on.
“An eye witness who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “The ATMA people stopped the truck driver and wanted to take him to their office along Asaba-Onitsha expressway but the driver refused and tried to move on.
“One of them managed to take over the steering from the driver but couldn’t control the speed and rammed into two stationary commercial buses as well s people standing by in the area, killing some people on the spot.”
It was learnt that the truck driver also died in the process while some people sustained varying degree of injury.
The development led to protest by truck drivers who blocked the Onitsha-Asaba expressway, making the road impassable for commuters and motorists coming in from Awka and Enugu axis as well as those exiting the town from Asaba end were trapped in the traffic for hours.
A source said, “I didn’t know what the truck driver did but I saw the ATMA officer dragging the key with him until he succeeded and zoomed off.
“The way he drove shows he is not familiar with the truck until he lost control and veered off the road and crashed into two commercial buses.
“Some persons including the driver and those standing by the road died instantly while others sustained varying degrees of injury. I saw about nine bodies lying on the floor.”
In a statement by the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Utten Boyi, said that only two persons lost their lives while one was injured in the incident.
He said the body of the deceased had been deposited at the morgue, warning motorist to desist from excess speed especially in build-up areas, and should use recommended speed limit of 50klm/hr.
“A multiple fatal road traffic crash happened by down flyover upper Iweka this afternoon 13th May, 2021, at about 1201hrs.
“The crash was between unidentified driver of a Mercedes trailer with registration number SMK 728 DA, unidentified driver of a Toyota Hiace bus with registration number HTE 791 XA and unidentified driver of a Mitsubishi L300 bus with registration number NNE 138 ZF.
“Eight persons were involved in the crash comprising 5 male adults, 1 female adult and 2 male children.
“One male adult sustained serious injury and was rushed to Toronto hospital by FRSC rescue team from Upper Iweka Command, while two other male adults were confirmed dead by the doctor on duty at the same hospital and they have been deposited at the morgue”, he added.