At least six people were feared dead on Thursday morning, while six others were critically injured, after a tipper driver rammed into roadside traders at old Ota Toll Gate in Ogun State.
According to eyewitnesses, the sand-laden tipper with number plate JJJ 551 XB, rammed into the petty traders at the road side.
“The incident happened around 11am. The tipper was coming from Lagos when it had a brake failure.
“As the driver struggled with the vehicle, the vehicle veered off the road and rammed into the traders.
“It was not a beautiful sight; the tipper was climbing over the women, men and children selling bread, pepper and other wares by the roadside. Those buying too were not spared,” an eyewitness said.
He said the driver of the vehicle immediately fled to avoid mob attack.
The police and officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Ogun State Traffic Compliance Enforcement Corps later arrived at the scene after sympathizers had started making efforts to take some of the victims to the hospital.
Confirming the incident, spokesman for the state police command, DSP Muyiwa Adejobi, said three people died, while four were injured.
FRSC Ota unit Commander, Mr. Sunday Omafu, however said two people died, while seven others were critically injured.
He said one of the dead was an official of NUPENG, while the second victim was a woman buying pepper for a naming ceremony.
“These two people have been identified by their relatives and taken to the Ifo General Hospital mortuary. The rest who are in critical condition have been taken to the Sango General Hospital for treatment,” Omafu said.
He said that the tragedy was caused by disobedience to the state’s traffic rules, adding that the corps would continue to organize sensitization programmes for members of the public.
“We have always advised that they should not be selling at the toll gate because it is dangerous. We have been driving away okada riders from the road, but they keep returning because they think you don’t want them to make money. We hope to increase our enlightenment programme because this period of the year can be challenging.”
Omafu added that the tipper had been towed to the premises of the Ota Area Command of the Nigeria Police.