No fewer than 25 people were on Monday feared dead on the ever-busy Owerri – Onitsha expressway in Imo State when two heavy duty trucks collided with two hummer buses.
The tragedies happened at Catering school Junction and Okpokija Junction, respectively in Irete community in the Owerri West Local Government Area of the state between 4 and 4: 20 pm interval.
An eyewitness who gave his name simply as MC T-Boy, an indigene of the community told our correspondent at the scene of one of the auto crashes that a commercial hummer bus filled with passengers from Onitsha to Owerri was crushed by the incoming heavy duty truck conveying empty containers when it tried to overtook it on the expressway .
He said that the eighteen passengers on board, plus the driver and the conductor reportedly died on the spot as the truck folded the bus.
According to the emotionally ridden eyewitness, as if the tragedy was not enough, another one occurred within a space of twenty minutes, this time, killing five persons on the spot, while several others were severely injured.
The second crash which occurred at the Okpokija petroleum refilling station Junction on the same expressway, a one poll drive from the scene of the first disaster involved another big truck coming from Onitsha to the state capital and another hummer bus said to be conveying passengers from Lagos to Owerri which belonged to the Peace Mass Transit.
He said that the second auto accident was allegedly as a result of the carelessness of the bus driver who chose to take a one-way drive instead of sticking to his own Lane.
According to the eyewitness “when the first crash occurred, there was heavily traffic jam. All motorists were held in the traffic gridlocks as people rushed to rescue the accident victims. But instead of the bus driver to exercise Patience by waiting, he quickly took to a one-way drive without looking. His bus was immediately crushed by an incoming truck leading to five persons dying on the spot “.
He said that it took the efforts of the indigenes of the community to come to the rescue of the few survivors by rushing them to the nearby hospitals for treatments.
Our correspondent learnt that the buses and the heavy duty trucks had been evaluated from the expressway, paving way for free flow of traffics.
Source – The Punch