by Dolapo Adelana
Dairu Murtala, a truck driver for the Dangote Group on Tuesday sent three men to their early graves at the Arepo end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.
According to The Punch, Murtala was said to be driving against the traffic when he crushed the victims, who were about to cross the expressway into the Arepo community.
It was learnt that the driver did not stop after the incident, as he continued driving.
He was chased by some motorcyclists to Magboro, a neighbouring community, where he was apprehended.
He was reportedly beaten to a pulp before the intervention of policemen from the Warewa division, who rescued him from the mob.
The remains of the deceased, who were said to be workers of a company in Arepo were carried away by officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps.
A witness, who did not identify himself, said the accident happened around 8am.
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He said, “We were all at the bus stop when the truck sped past us. The driver did not even hoot.
“The three men, who wanted to cross the expressway, were only looking at a side of the road. They didn’t know that the truck was fast approaching from the other side.
“The truck crushed them and they died on the spot. It even dragged the body of a man for some distance.
“Another pedestrian, who saw the truck approaching, carried a lady that could have also been hit, off the road. The girl wanted to protest the action until she saw what had happened.”
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A motorcycle rider, identified as Musa, said the driver did not stop the truck after the incident.
“My friends and I chased him to Magboro. When we caught up with him, we beat him up. We were hitting him when the police came to his rescue,” he added.
A community leader in Arepo, Victor Olajide, appealed to the Federal Government to make provision for a pedestrian bridge at the junction, saying a lot of people had died while attempting to cross the expressway.
He said, “This has become a regular thing. I believe the way out is for pedestrian bridges to be constructed at the Arepo, Ibafo, Magboro and Mowe ends of the expressway, where there are settlements, to forestall avoidable loss of lives.”
The FRSC Ogun State Sector Commander, Clement Oladele, confirmed the incident.
He said, “The accident occurred at the Ibadan to Lagos route around 8am. The crash involved an ash coloured Dangote truck, with number plate DTF 118 XA. The truck driver hit three persons, all males, and killed them on the spot.
“The crash was caused by dangerous driving and route violation. The police apprehended the driver and towed away the truck, while an FRSC ambulance conveyed the corpses to the Sagamu Hospital mortuary.”
The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, also confirmed the incident, saying the driver had been arrested.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.