Following the death of three persons, when a trailer fell off Ojuelegba bridge last Wednesday, Lagos residents have called on the relevant authorities to regulate the movement of heavy duty trucks in Lagos State, saying the incident was one too many.
Meanwhile, Divisional Police Officer of Surulere Police Division, Chief Superintendent of Police Monday Agbonika, said yesterday that the driver of the truck had been arrested.
The affected vehicles were also promptly removed from the road, which eventually eased the traffic gridlock created by the crash.
The trailer driver, identified as Wasiu Adeleke, was arrested for killing three occupants of a Sports Utility Vehicle, SUV, a black Toyota Corolla with number plates LSD 532 CN, and a white Nissan Sunny saloon with number plates DG 750 LND, when his cement-laden trailer fell off the Ojuelegba bridge.
The driver of the white Nissan Sunny car, one Lasisi Akeem, whose car was partially crushed by the heavy duty truck, escaped.
The truck, with number plates EPE 46 XK, driven by Wasiu a native of Ibadan, was carrying a 40-foot container loaded with cement and armoured doors.
The General Manager of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Michael Akindele told Vanguard yesterday that the state government was in contact with the victims’ relations to perfect the process of their corpses’ release from Lagos Mainland Hospital, where they were deposited.
Akindele said the articulated vehicle and the 40-foot container were taken to the office of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental Offences for further investigations.
Also, the three victims, he said, were male adults within the age bracket of 30 and 35 years.
The SUV and the Nissan car were said to be trapped in the gridlock when the accident happened killing both occupants in the SUV and the lone occupant of the Nissan car.
An eyewitness, Joseph Babatunde, said the 40-foot container was coming from the Costain end of the road, when it skidded off.
After hours of sawing out the container parts, it was evacuated from atop the SUV and the bodies of the three male occupants, including the driver recovered.
As at press time, the identities of the deceased persons were yet unknown given their mangled state.
Residents of Ojuelegba area, where the crash occurred, have appealed to the state government to save them from incessant cases of falling trucks in their area, which they say have claimed several lives.
Majority of the people said Lagos State government should enforce a law, which will regulate movement of container-laden trucks on Lagos roads.
One of the residents, Mrs. Kehinde Omodara, said: “I saw the accident and it was very pathetic and painful. We have been losing too many lives on this road because of careless drivers.
“Majority of the drivers are youths, who I think are extremely too young for the driving job. Only matured people should be allowed to drive trucks.
Matthew Bernard, a shop owner around Ojuelegba bus-stop, said: “We are calling on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to make special roads for trucks or enact laws that will regulate the movement of trailers, which will be different from the ones used by other vehicles.
“That particular trailer was not in good shape at all and it developed fault right from Barracks Bus Stop, but refused to stop.
“Government should not allow trailers that carry containers to ply the road during the day and they should not climb the bridge. The issue of falling trucks is becoming too much in Ojuelegba and whenever they fall, they kill innocent people.
“This year alone, we have recorded four trailer incidents in Ojuelegba. Government should please do something fast to prevent loss of lives on our roads.”
Daniel Chukwukeze said: “Wednesday’s tragedy would have been averted if the container was properly latched to the trailer. But as is the usual practice, they did not bother to do that.
“Governor Ambode should save us from these trailers and tankers. They are hired killers because they do not care about other people’s lives.
“Enough of wasting of lives on our roads due to trailer or tanker accidents. Government should restrict their movement to night time. That is the practise in other countries.”