(By Ahmed Abubakar – DUTSE, Laide Raheem – ABEOKUTA)
No fewer than 20 persons were confirmed dead in two separate road crashes that occurred yesterday in Jigawa and Ogun states.
While 15 were killed in the crash that involved an Opel salon car with registration number AA 664 DRA that had a head-on collision with a truck marked XA 779 NSR at Gagararwa Local Government Area of Jigawa State, five persons, including three males, a female and a boy reportedly died, while 13 others sustained serious injuries, when a bus veered off the road and rammed into a stationary truck at Ogere, along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
The Jigawa accident which occurred in the early morning hours of the New Year eve was said have happened when an Opel car overloaded with 15 passengers heading to Gumel Local Government Area from Gagarawa town lost control and crashed into an oncoming truck.
Nine passengers were said to have instantly died on the spot while six others died in the hospital.
The Jigawa State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Abdu Jinjiri said the Opel car was overloaded with 15 passengers instead of seven.
He said the car sandwiched and killed the entire passengers, which also made it difficult to remove most of them alive.
He said the 15 corpses were deposited at the Gumel General Hospital while the truck driver, a 22-year-old Isyaku Umar of Majia village of Taura Local Government Area had been arrested.
The other accident, in Ogun State, which occurred around 9am at the Wazobia Area of Ogere along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, involved a white Mazda commuter bus with registration number DDA121XA and a red MAN Diesel truck with registration number MGD129ZF.
According to the Ogun State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Clement Oladele, the crash was caused by dangerous driving and speed violation on the part of the driver of the commercial bus who was traveling from Ibadan to Lagos.
He explained further that the driver, due to his excessive speeding, lost control, veered off his lane and crashed into the truck parked off the highway.
Oladele added that the driver of the commercial bus took to his heels immediately the incident happened.
He, however, noted that a manhunt had begun to apprehend and charge him for dangerous driving leading to the death of some of his passengers.
Meanwhile, the injured victims have been taken to the Ogun State University Teaching Hospital (OSUTH), Sagamu and Victory Hospital, Ogere while the dead passengers were deposited at the Ipara Mortuary.