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Revenue collectors blamed as three killed in Anambra auto crash

The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Anambra State, Adeoye Irelewuyi, has confirmed that no fewer than three persons died in an accident that occurred on Sunday when a truck lost control and rammed into two tricycles at Oba on the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway, Idemili North Local Government Area of the state.

PUNCH Metro correspondent gathered that the fatal crash occurred at about 9 am when the victims were said to be on their way to attend a Sunday church service.

It was gathered that the fatal crash involved no fewer than five vehicles, including the tricycles and the truck.

Sources at the scene who spoke with our correspondent blamed the accident on some agents of the state revenue collectors who they said stopped the two tricycles and were demanding loading tickets from them.

An eyewitness who preferred anonymity told our correspondent that the heavy-duty truck failed its brake, and lost control noting that while the driver tried to control the vehicle, he rammed into the two loaded tricycles, thereby pushing them and some of the occupants into a ditch.

The sources said while the truck pushed the tricycles and some of their passengers into the ditch, some of the victims fell off and were overrun by the truck.

An eyewitness, who resides in the area and was at the scene, identified as Amaka, told our correspondent, “The accident occurred early this morning and it happened because some revenue collectors stopped the tricycle operators and were demanding loading tickets from them.

“As they were arguing with each other over the payment of levy, the oncoming trailer, which had already failed brakes, was coming with speed and while blaring its horns, rammed into the two tricycles, thereby pushing them into a nearby ditch.

“About 10 passengers, including the riders, were in the tricycle. While some of the victims fell into the ditch, others were run over by the truck. It was a terrible sight to behold. Emergency responders rushed to the scene to attend to the injured and retrieve the bodies of the victims.”

She said the revenue collectors who were by the roadside supervising their other colleagues fled the scene immediately after the crash occurred.

“As of now, five dead bodies have been recovered, while the search for any other casualty is ongoing,” she said.

This account was also corroborated by some gory videos already trending online showing where some of the bodies of the victims littered the road and where a voice noted that the tricycles were hit in quick succession because they were driving close to each other.

The incident caused a gridlock along the road as a crowd subsequently besieged the scene, while the affected vehicles blocked a major part of the road.

Some local authorities were seen investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident and working to determine what the actions of the tax collectors were and how they contributed to the tragic incident.

As of the time of filing this report, rescue efforts were still going on for the victims who were still trapped in the ditch, as some of them were hooked to the tyres of the trailer.

The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Anambra State, Adeoye Irelewuyi, in a short statement, confirmed the accident, adding that three persons had been recorded dead.

He said, “Yes, there was a road traffic crash at Oba, along the Onitsha -Owerri Expressway earlier today. Three persons were recorded dead. The real cause of the crash has not been ascertained as details of the crash are still being gathered. Some youths in the town and others are allegedly protesting over the incident.”

Also, in a statement issued later in the evening, the state acting Sector Public Education Officer, FRSC, Margaret Onabe, said the probable cause of the fatal crash was the loss of control as a result of brake failure.

Onabe said, “According to eyewitnesses, tax collectors were stopping tricycles collecting taxes when the driver of the Mack truck failed brake, lost control, and rammed into the other vehicles.

“Fifteen people were involved in the crash, five persons, comprising three males and two female adults were injured while three persons comprising two males and one female child died and seven people were rescued unhurt.

“Passerby took casualties to the hospital before the arrival of the FRSC rescue team from the RS5.36 Oraifite Unit Command, Anambra State.

“The scene was tense as hoodlums came with machetes protesting towards the revenue collectors for orchestrating the crash.”

She added that the state sector commander had sympathised with the families of the dead victims and wished the injured victims a quick recovery.

‘The sector commander seriously warned motorists to desist from disobeying traffic rules and regulations by servicing their vehicles to minimum safety standards before plying the road, avoiding speed, and driving with full concentration.

Emphasising that traffic rules made were to avert crashes, she enjoined road users to drive to save their lives and the lives of others on the road.


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