Mother, twins crushed to death
Articulated vehicle rams into tricycle operators, passersby in Ibadan
Tears flowed freely yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, when an articulated lorry lost control and crushed five persons, including a mother and her twins, to death.
The tragedy occurred at the busy Oja Oba Market in the heart of the city, while traders were just opening for business and commuters were waiting to board vehicles to work.
The ill-fated truck was said to have lost control and rammed into commercial tricycle operators, who usually milled around the place to pick up passengers.
No fewer than four of the tricycle operators were affected with one completely burnt.
Apart from the nursing mother, a civil servant identified as Monsuru Adebayo, an engineer with Ibadan Properties, was killed in the auto crash while several others, mainly motorists waiting to board vehicles, were injured.
The remains of Adebayo, who was waiting for a taxi beside the road and other deceased persons, were said to have been deposited at the Adeoyo State Hospital morgue while the injured persons were receiving treatment both at the hospital as well as the University College Hospital (UCH).
The incident disrupted commercial activities in the area as many traders did not open for business while many wept uncontrollably.
An eyewitness, who identified herself as Mrs. O. Kemisola said: “ The incident happened around 8: 00a.m. I was about opening my shop when I heard people shouting. I ran for cover because I was not sure of what was happening. I later saw that a driver was trying to struggle with the truck he was driving, apparently due to brake failure, ran over seven tricycles parked alongside the road with passengers inside.”
“A woman with her twin children were standing beside the road, waiting to take a taxi to drop her kids in school, when the truck ran over them. It was a gory scene.
It took the intervention of law enforcement agents to prevent the irate mob from setting the truck ablaze while the driver was said to have escaped.
The Interim Chairman of Ibadan South West, Alhaji Rauf Folarin, who visited the scene said the casualty would have been more if normal business activities had picked up before the accident occurred.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Adekunle Ajisebutu confirmed the incident but said four persons were killed while three were injured.
Ajisebutu, a Superintendent of Police, said the driver had been arrested and was in custody.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Government has condoled with the families of victims of the accident.
The Commissioner for Information, Toye Arulogun while condoling with the families, described the incident as “unfortunate and highly regrettable.”
According to him, such deaths were needless and avoidable, only if people would desist from street trading, keep vehicles in good condition and abide by traffic laws.
He said, “This accident is one too many. You can see the number of casualties and the victims of the accident ranging from traders, passersby, tricycle riders among others. We condole with their families.
“We pray to God to uphold the families they left behind and we are using this medium to call on the people to see the government’s frequent campaign against street-trading as a clarion call to put an end to this kind of bloodbath. We will not rest on our oars in sensitising the people about the inherent dangers of street-trading.”