*Driver, assistant disappear; tanker crushes FRSC Special Marshal
By Dayo Johnson & Gbenga Olarinoye
NO fewer than 10 persons were killed and several others injured yesterday as a trailer reportedly lost control and rammed into a market at Owena, a boundary town between Osun and Ondo states.
Also, Osun State coordinator of Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Special Marshal programme, Chief S. O. Adewale, was crushed to death in the same area.
Findings revealed that the trailer was heading for Akure, Ondo State, from Ilesha in Osun State when its brake system developed fault, and the driver manoeuvred the vehicle into a road side market along Ilesha-Akure Expressway.
Vanguard learned that many of the victims of the road accident were traders, artisans and drivers, all from neighbouring communities who usually come to transact businesses once a week on both sides of the expressway.
The trailer was said to have crushed many of the victims beyond recognition, while others were left with charred bodies.
Those who were reportedly rescued from the accident scene were rushed to the General Hospital in Ilesha, while those whose condition could not be redeemed were left at the scene.
The dead bodies were later removed from the scene by officials of FRSC from Ipetu-modu division and the police.
The accident resulted in a gridlock on the expressway, forcing motorists to use bush paths as alternatives.
Members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, mobilised themselves to clear the wreckage of the accident.
An eyewitness account said the driver of the trailer and his assistant disappeared into the crowd for fear of being lynched.
It could not be confirmed if they too sustained injuries in the crash, but some youths attempted to set the trailer on fire after the crash. They were stopped by some elders in the community.
Contacted, Head of Operations of FRSC, Mr. Jones Malomo, said the crash was caused by brake failure.
Malomo, who confirmed that some people were killed, was, however, not categorical on the number of deaths recorded.
He said it was the officials of the commission from Ipetumodu that carried out the rescue operation.
It will be recalled that a similar accident happened in Ikare area of the state a few years ago when a trailer lost control and killed over 15 market women transacting businesses in front of the palace of the Olukare of Ikare, Oba Akadri momoh.
The state government had since relocated the traders to a modern market within the town to avoid the repeat of the incident, which was becoming a yearly ritual.
FRSC Special Marshal crushed
In another accident in the same area yesterday, Osun State Coordinator of FRSC, Special Marshal programme, Chief S. O. Adewale, was crushed to death at Owena, a boundary town between Osun and Ondo states.
An eyewitness told Vanguard that the deceased was coming from Owo, Ondo State, with his wife when the incident happened.
According to the witness, the deceased was said to have parked his vehicle by the road side to buy some items from Owena market, when a fuel truck lost control and rammed into his car.
It was further learned that the Special Marshall chief died instantly, while his wife was rushed to the emergency unit of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital OAUTH, Ile-Ife.
The deceased anchors a popular weekly road safety programme on Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, OSBC.
He was also said to have championed many road safety awareness programmes in the state before his death.
The Sector Commander of FRSC in Osun State, Mr. Mohammed Husaini, who confirmed the story, said the accident involved three vehicles, adding that Adewale was the only person that died.