Pandemonium as vehicle being chased by Trafic officers allegedly kills Pregnant Woman, 2 Children,

Pandemonium as vehicle being chased by Trafic officers allegedly kills Pregnant Woman, 2 Children,

Tragedy struck, yesterday, in the Ago, Okota area of Isolo Local Government Area, LGA, of Lagos State, when a vehicle, chased by an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, ran into a tricycle, killing a pregnant woman, her two children and the tricycle operator.

However, the Police said only the pregnant woman and the tricyclist lost their lives.

Eyewitnesses alleged that one of the LASTMA officials at Okota roundabout flagged down the driver of a Toyota Sienna MPV (multipurpose vehicle), in an attempt to arrest him for violating traffic rules.

The official and a policeman attached to LASTMA were said to have entered the vehicle, with one of them attempting to take over the steering. A struggle ensued between the driver and the LASTMA official, while the vehicle was still in motion, as the former refused to allow the LASTMA to take over the steering.

In the process, the driver lost control and collided with the tricycle on Bayo Oyewale Street.

The tricyclist, who had his skull broken, died on the spot with the pregnant woman, while the children she was taking to school became unconscious.

The incident sparked protests as an angry mob descended on the LASTMA official.
However, the timely intervention by a team of policemen from Ago Division saved the official from being lynched, as the police fired tear gas canisters to disperse the mob.

When Vanguard arrived at the scene, an eye witness who simply identified himself as Friday, explained, “More than five LASTMA officials alongside a police officer were struggling with the driver. The car attempted to hit me but I dodged it. I was furious and even tried to throw a stone at the driver when I saw that the LASTMA officials were in a confrontation with him. Within minutes, I noticed that they had entered Bayo Oyewale Street, on Ago road.

“The Sienna vehicle collided with the tricycle that was operating on the street, killing a pregnant woman and her two children.

The skull of the keke Marwa driver was on the ground. Angry bystanders began assaulting the policeman and LASTMA official who tried to flee.”

Another eye witness, whose shop is located opposite the accident scene, said, “I sent my brother downstairs to help me get something downstairs. He rushed back and informed me that there was a crowd at the bus stop where I had my shop. When I got there, I couldn’t comprehend what I saw.

“I was told that the Sienna driver was going the wrong way because the road was in a bad condition. In that area, when you reach a certain point, people tend to use one-way routes to bypass the bad road, particularly around Cele.

“The tricyclist was my customer. He visited my shop four days ago to make some withdrawals from my Point-of-Sale (POS) machine. He also informed me that he had a newborn baby and he was planning to pay the bride price for the mother of his child in two weeks. They were even discussing preparations for the child’s dedication, which was scheduled for a few days later, before their wedding.

“Upon my arrival, I was shocked to see his lifeless body on the ground. I inquired about what had happened, they told me that the Sienna driver had entered the estate, and it was during the altercation with LASTMA that the Sienna collided with the tricycle.

Tragically, while the two children lost their lives instantly, the condition of the pregnant woman was critical. They rushed her to the hospital, but before reaching there, I received the news that she had also passed away. I’m not certain about the condition of the Sienna driver. Some said he died too while others said he is in a critical condition in the hospital he was rushed to.

The tragedy was sparked by the action of the LASTMA officials. It is baffling why they would chase someone, even when the person entered an estate. They dragged the man, wrestled with the steering right on the street”

Another eyewitness, who identified himself simply as Michael, attributed the bad portion on Okota road to reason motorists divert to the opposite road.

According to him, “There is a bad route around the roundabout, prompting people to take a one-way route to avoid the bad road. However, LASTMA officials have turned this into a source of income for themselves.

Whenever a driver takes that one-way route, they would stop him and demand money. That’s what happened today (yesterday). They stopped the Sienna but the driver refused to stop. The police officer with them today (yesterday) worked alongside LASTMA officials”

When contacted, spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Benjamin Hudenyin, said only the pregnant woman and tricycle operator lost their lives in the incident.

On its part, LASTMA, in a statement by its Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department, Adebayo Taofiq, exonerated its official from culpability.

Rather, it explained that “Traffic Officer, Hassan Kehinde of Zone 27 Okota, who led the LASTMA patrol team disclosed that a driver of a blue Toyota Sienna bus with plate number AKD 944 HN, was apprehended for driving against traffic around Ago Palace.

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