Cop rolls vehicle, 2 dead

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A POLICEMAN charged with dangerous driving causing death of two men and injuring 12 others in a motor vehicle in East New Britain last Friday has been detained at the Kokopo police cell.
Acting provincial police commander Chief Inspector Gabriel Bandy told The National yesterday that the constable was also suspended from work for 21 days on Monday.
He said the policeman was apparently attached to the Islands Mobile Group (IMG) based at the Tomaringa Mobile Barracks. He is expected to appear in the Kokopo District Court next week.
The police report said that between 6.30am and 7am at Marambu River in Pomio’s Sinivit, the accused was driving a Toyota Land Cruiser from Putput Logging Camp to Kokopo.
It said he tried to negotiate a bend at high speed and the vehicle tumbled and rolled three times, stopping about 20 metres away from the road.
Bandy said 14 passengers sat at the back of the vehicle at the time.
He said two men were killed and 12 sustained serious injuries.
Police identified the two deceased as Junior Ben and Roger Bitus.
“Ben died instantly and his body was brought straight to the Nonga Hospital morgue in Rabaul while Bitus was taken to St Mary’s Vunapope Hospital in Kokopo and died a few hours after fighting for his life,” Bandy said.
“All other 12 passengers were also brought to Vunapope Hospital and are currently on medical treatment.”
Bandy said the constable reported the matter to police and was later arrested and charged.
He said police in the province and New Guinea Islands regional office in Kokopo were not aware of the deployment of some members of the IMG to the Putput logging area.
Bandy said police were investigating and expected to find out soon who requested IMG to go there.