Friday, September 7, 2012, was a black day in Fagba Ishaga in Lagos State. Two men who were rescuing an accident victim on a railway line, including bystanders were hit by a speeding car.
Eyewitnesses said one of the men died on the spot while the other died on the way to the hospital. Many others were critically injured.
At Fagba railway level crossing where the accident occurred, an eyewitness, Peter Adebayo, said, “About 10.15pm, an oncoming train hit a car trying to cross. It was damaged and some of the tricycle operators in our park, rushed to get the car off the road and help the injured lone occupant.
“There was a crowd there and others who were waiting to board taxis or buy things because some women sell there in the night.
“A white Toyota Sienna ran into the crowd hitting everything on its way. By the time we rushed to the scene. Many people were already on the ground unconscious.”
A tricycle operator, Moruf Oguntoyinbo, was said to have died on the spot. He was the Chairman of the Fagba-Puposola Unit of the Tricycle Riders’ Association at the park.
Another tricycle operator, 42-year-old Musbau Adeyinka, popularly called Murphy in the area, died on his way to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
Musbau’s wife, Wosila, told PUNCH Metro, she was shocked when she heard about her husband’s death.
“He made a lot of promise to me and our six children, which he had yet to fulfil. I don’t even know how I would carry the burden of our children,” she said.
On Tuesday, when our correspondent visited one of the survivors, Idowu Babatunde, at Mercy Hospital, Fagba, he could not recollect what happened to him.
A doctor at the hospital, Kareem Shehu, said Idowu was brought to the hospital unconscious. He said although an x-ray had been taken to determine if the victim had any internal injury, Idowu could still not recollect how the accident happened.
Idowu’s wife, Folashade, said she learnt that her husband was one of the rescuers before he was hit by the bus.
Another victim, Bimbo Atanda, who had a broken leg, is being treated at home.
“I was going to a vigil, but I stopped at the bus stop to buy bread. I can’t even say where the vehicle came from. All I remember is being hit and, later found myself in the hospital,” Atanda said.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the driver of the bus has been arrested.
A police source identified him as Francis Adewunmi. He was said to have fled immediately after the accident, but was arrested when he came back to the scene early the following morning to retrieve his bus.
He is currently being detained at the Oko-Oba Police Division, Ishaga.
Patron of the Keke Owner’s Association, Mr. Hassan Balogun, told our correspondent that other people might have died.
He said, “We don’t know what happened to other victims because we only know of our members whom we rushed to the hospital. A lot of other people were rushed to different hospitals.
“Some of them may have even died, because when it happened everybody just rushed there and took away their own people.
“We took away members of our association and others we knew because we could not take care of all the victims. It was a really a terrible day.”
When the Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, Ngozi Braide, was contacted, she declined to comment.
“I don’t know you, I cannot release any information to you,” she said.
But a police source, privy to the case at Oko-Oba, said Adewunmi would soon be charged with manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol.