Cops: Be wary of traffic accidents

National, Normal

The National, Monday July 8th, 2013


PEOPLE in Hela have been urged not to jump onto passing vehicles.

Provincial police commander Jimmy Onopia issued the warning yesterday after a Koroba Secondary School truck loaded with students and members of the public was involved in an accident. 

The truck overturned and a male student was killed while other students and people who jumped onto the truck suffered injuries. 

Supt Onopia said with the impact of the multi-billion kina LNG project in the province, the number of vehicles and movement of people had increased, resulting in a greater risk of road accidents.

Onopia said people should value life and avoid jumping onto passing vehicles.

He said when accidents occurred, compensation and related problems normally followed.

He said motor vehicle accidents could be avoided if people used common sense. 

Onopia appealed to the people to keep away from main roads and highways as much as possible to avoid being hit by passing vehicles. 

The school truck accident happened at 5.45pm on June 29 at Teria village, near Koroba. 

The Tari-based police highway patrol 20 unit, led by Thomas Andale, was in the vicinity and rushed the injured to the Tari hospital for treatment.

Police said the truck was being driven by a teacher on an official run to Koroba station when students and the general public who were desperate to return home after watching rugby league games at Koroba seized the opportunity and jumped onto the truck for the ride back to their villages and the school. 

The driver told police he tried to avoid an animal and a huge stone when he lost control and the truck plunged into a nearby ditch. 

The driver was charged with dangerous driving causing death and is out on bail. 

Police identified the deceased as  Grade 9 student Samson Ekawi, 20, from Tawanda-Tani village in the Tari Pori district.