A couple and three others have died in a ghastly auto crash in Ebonyi State. Two others sustained minor injuries in the crash which occurred at Berger Junction along the Ishiagu–Afikpo Road in the state.
Mr Victor Idam and his wife died instantly after their Nissan Primera car with registration number UML 250 AA collided head-on with a yellow-coloured Mack Trailer with registration No. APP 215 XP.
According to a source who spoke to newsmen on condition of anonymity, the crash was caused by over-speeding. He therefore advised road users to desist from over-speeding on the smooth-surfaced Ishiagu/Afikpo road.
An eyewitness however attributed the crash to the carelessness of the driver of the trailer. The source said that the accident occurred when the conductor of the trailer was trying to take over from his driver while the vehicle was still in motion.
“The accident was very terrible. In fact, those who came to rescue the victims had to force the doors open before the victims were brought out. I learnt that the conductor was trying to take over from the driver while on steering. Before their death, the couple were resident in Umuahia. The wife worked with the Education Board in Abia, while the husband who is graduate of Ebonyi State University, EBSU, Abakaliki worked with a media outfit located in Port Harcourt. He was a presenter with Deeper Life Satellite Television,” the source explained.
Speaking on the accident, State Coordinator, Special Marshal RF 9.2 Nigeria, Dr. Henry Urochukwu advised the government to make the teaching and learning of safety education mandatory in primary and secondary schools.
“If we start on time to talk about safe driving from our primary and secondary schools, it will help the situation. That accident that happened at Ishiagu was very pathetic; learning how to drive is not just it, you need to know about the maintenance of the vehicle among other requirements.
“In this case, we must look at both human and environmental factors before we can accurately discuss the reasons behind that accident. If a driver is not conversant with the road, accident may occur. Note that the road may be well tarred but accident may occur due to poor lighting of the road at night. If a driver does over 100 kilometres per hour, it is over speeding. The psychological disposition of a driver matters a lot during driving,” he said.
“We need to look at the medical history of the driver to ascertain whether he had had a heart attack. What is his psychological disposition to driving? Is he an epileptic patient? Is the driver tired after driving for about 17 hours? Is the person prone to risk taking? Does he have a pulse for over-speeding; does he have a defective judgement while driving; does he spend time quarreling with another road user instead of focusing on his lane? Does he have a poor perception of his or her environment? It is a very complex issue but these are the factors we need to put into consideration,” Dr Urochukwu noted.
The bodies of the deceased had since been deposited at a mortuary in Uturu, Abia State while the injured victims are currently receiving treatment.