…Recommends construction of barricades on Ojuelegba bridge, others
By Chimezie Godfrey
The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dauda Ali Biu has expressed deep concerns over the fatal crashes that occurred today, Sunday 29 January 2023 on Ojuelegba Bridge, Lagos State, with 9 people killed, and another crash that claimed 11 lives at Soka bridge on Lagos-Benin Highway.
Whilst his concerns stem from the reoccurring container crashes on Ojuelegba bridge that has claimed several lives, the Corps Marshal recommends the construction of barricades against articulated vehicles (Tankers, Trucks, Trailers and other heavy duty vehicles) on Ojuelegba Bridge as a permanent solution to the reoccurring crashes. On Soka Bridge (Lagos-Benin Expressway), he used the opportunity to caution commuters against route violation (popularly referred in the local parlance as ‘One Way’) as well as driving against prescribed legal speed limits on all roads.
According to preliminary investigation conducted into the fatal crashes, the OJUELEGBA crash involved a Mack Truck with a 40ft container with the registration number KJA 380 KD, who apart from engaging in excessive speed, also indulged in an act of wrongful overtaking and a Suzuki mini bus registered as KTU 921 YD; while the SOKA avoidable menace involved a Truck driven against traffic and a Macopolo Bus.
The container mounted on the Mack Truck at Ojuelegba, according to our operatives, fell off the truck and landed on the Suzuki mini bus filled up with passengers which obviously led to the death of 9 of the passengers.
As at the time of this statement, 11 victims were burnt beyond recognition at the SOKA Bridge while the Ojuelegba crash involved 13 people comprising of 9 males and 4 females. Out of the 13 people, 9 were killed comprising of 5 Male adults, 1 male child, 1 female child and 2 female adults.
Out of the 4 victims who survived the Ojuelegba crash, 2 were rescued without injuries while the remaining 2 sustained various degrees of injuries.
The Corps Marshal who frowned at the incident explained the importance of barricading the bridge against articulated vehicles citing some of the dangers that come with their continuous use of the bridge as he calls for efforts to be made towards expanding the connecting roads under the bridge to accommodate all articulated vehicles.
He revealed that FRSC rescue teams in collaboration with other Emergency Management Agencies have cleared obstructions from the crash scenes for ease of movement while the driver of the Mack Truck has been arrested and handed over to the Police for further investigation and possible prosecution; also efforts are in top gear to arrest the driver that caused the SOKA bridge crash.
The Corps Marshal also reiterated the need for the enactment of laws that will bring justice to victims of these crashes and where such laws already exist, efforts should be made to activate them so that justice will be served accordingly to both the drivers and the victims.
He admonished the public to always patronize the FRSC toll free line 122 and the National Traffic Radio 107.1 FM which are always available for all road users to report emergencies at any given time.