16th February, 2011
A sweeper with the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, was yesterday crushed to death by a DAF truck at Ojota area of Lagos State, South West Nigeria.
The accident occurred as a result of a struggle for the control of the steering of the truck by the driver and an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA.
The victim, Mrs. Martha Kpemeku, 56, was on the median sweeping around 7.30 a.m. when the truck veered off the road, climbed the median and crushed the woman who died immediately.
Following the accident, an irate mob smashed the windscreen of the LASTMA pick-up vehicle at the scene after the officials had escaped. An attempt by the mob to also set ablaze a BRT bus was foiled by the police.
The registration number of the truck is XR 505 BDG while the registration number of the LASTMA truck that was vandalized is RT-225-LA.
The corpse of the sweeper was deposited at the morgue of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja while the truck was impounded by the police.
A witness, Kunle Jimoh, blamed the death of the sweeper on the LASTMA official, saying the LASTMA official should not have engaged the driver of the truck in a struggle for the control of the steering, adding that he could have taken the registration number of the vehicle and noted the offence committed.
General Manager, LAWMA, Mr. Ola Oresanya, confirmed the death of the sweeper, describing it as unfortunate. He added that four other persons were seriously injured in the accident.
â€œIt is a painful incident but we pray that such will not happen again,â€ he said, adding that the time had come for the government to engage motorized sweepers to sweep the highway in order to avert cases of highway sweepers being killed while on duty.
â€”Kazeem Ugbodaga & Paul Sanusi