ABAKALIKI—NO fewer than 19 persons were reportedly killed in multiple accidents involving different commercial vehicles along the Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway in Ebonyi State, yesterday.
Vanguard reports that a staff of The Sun Publishing Limited, Prince Ogbonna miraculously survived one of the accidents described by eyewitnesses as ghastly.
Investigations revealed that the accidents, which occurred almost simultaneously along the major highway, included Ezilo axis of Ishielu council area of the state and 135, Ezzamgbo of Ohaukwu council area of the state claiming many lives, including the drivers.
Though officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, could not confirm the accurate number of casualties, one of the survivors of the Ezillo accident, who identified himself simply as Ezekiel said that the accident occurred when the driver of a white bus coming from Awka to Abakaliki tried to overtake a Sienna bus and rammed into an oncoming bus from Abakaliki.
The eyewitness blamed the driver of the bus he was travelling in for reckless driving, adding that the accident could have been avoided if the driver had heeded several warnings from passengers.
Ezekiel said the driver tried to overtake the Sienna and ran into another bus coming from Abakaliki which was also on high speed.Both drivers lost control of their vehicles, leading to a head-on collision. He said the Siena bus skidded off the road and somersaulted many times, killing so many people in the process.
In his account, Mr. Prince Ogbonna, the Sales Representative of Sun newspaper, who was among the two survivors of Peace Mass Transit ill-fated vehicle at Ezzamgbo said their vehicle also somersaulted many times.
He confirmed that the driver of the Peace Mass Transit was trying to avoid a Mercedes Benz parked along the road when a trailer on high speed came from the opposite direction.
The driver according to him, lost control of the vehicle and skidded off the road before somersaulting from the bush path back to the centre of the highway, resulting to the death of many passengers.
Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps has confirmed four deaths in multiple road accidents which occurred on Enugu-Abakaliki federal highway Mr Sunday Iyamah, Ebonyi Sector Commander of the Corps said that 23 persons were injured in the crashes.
“The first crash occurred at Ezillo-Rice Mill Junction of the highway at about 4.15pm and involved three vehicles,” he said.
The vehicles include: A whiteToyota Hiace car with registration number: XU 679 Enugu; another white Toyota Hiace: MUS 78 XX and a Toyota Sienna car: FST 324 DC. “20 males and 11 females were inside the vehicles with 14 of them consisting of 8 males and six females injured with two of the victims dead”.