BY FEMI MAKINDE
Four members of the same family– a father, mother and their two kids– have been crushed to death by a truck laden with bags of rice.
The accident was said to have happened along the Iwo-Ibadan Road in Osun State.
A passenger in a commercial bus, who witnessed the accident, told our correspondent in Osogbo on Sunday that Mr. and Mrs. Olumide Bankole; their children, Sharon and Shama, were crushed to death by the truck which lost control in an attempt to avoid running into a queue of vehicles on the road due to a police checkpoint.
The eyewitness, who identified himself as Leke Okunola, said rescuers at the scene learnt that the family was traveling from Ogbomoso in Oyo State to Ibadan when the accident occurred around Odo Oba River on Christmas Eve.
He said the car in which the Bankoles were travelling was coming from Iwo and heading towards Ibadan, while the truck was coming from Ibadan.
The eyewitness blamed the accident on the police checkpoint, saying if the road block was not there, the accident would have been avoided.
Okunola said, “The car in which the victims were travelling was coming from the opposite direction and after the police had checked him, he moved, but a trailer which was loaded with bags of rice lost control and fell on the car.
“The driver of the car saw the truck and drove into the bush. The truck driver, however, lost control and fell on the car.
“The driver of the car, his wife and two children, including a baby, were all dead by the time they were rescued from under the truck.”
He added that the victims were trapped under the truck for close to five hours before their mangled bodies were removed by rescuers.
A lady, who was said to have been given a free ride by the family, was said to have survived, but her hand was reportedly chopped while being pulled out from the wreckage.
Okunola added that some chickens inside the boot of the car survived the tragic accident and flew out when rescuers opened the boot.
The Chairman of the Non Academic Staff Union at the Osun State University, Mr. Isaiah Fayemi, who is an in-law to the Bankoles, said the family had been thrown into deep mourning since the accident happened.
He called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, and the Commissioner of Police in Osun State, Mr. Abubakar Marafa, to investigate the cause of the accident and punish whoever was found culpable.
Fayemi said, “I learnt that the accident was caused by a police checkpoint. We will involve our lawyer in the case. We want the police to investigate the cause of the accident. I was told that two policemen had been arrested for the tragedy.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in Osun State, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, said investigation into the matter was ongoing.
Also, the Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Osun State, Mr. Mohammed Hussein, said the accident did not happen within his area of jurisdiction.
He said that the area where the accident happened fell under the jurisdiction of the Mokola Unit in Oyo State.