By GABRIEL FITO
AN 18-year-old girl is dead and several others escaped with injuries after they were thrown off a vehicle they were travelling in last Sunday.
Acting Sandaun provincial police commander, Insp Augustine Laho, said on Monday that the passengers were thrown out of the speeding vehicle in all directions when the driver failed to apply his brakes as the vehicle travelled down a slope.
The vehicle, an open-back Landcruiser, was travelling from a logging camp in Aitape to Sera village.
The driver was allegedly under the influence of liquor when the incident occurred.
Vanimo police task force members, acting on the PPC’s advice, left Vanimo the same afternoon and returned on Monday with the driver who was interrogated at the Vanimo police station.
Insp Laho said charges relating to drink driving and causing the death of the young girl were expected to be laid this week once all investigations are completed.
The body of the victim, whose identity has been withheld by police, is at the Vanimo General Hospital mortuary awaiting relatives to finalise funeral arrangements.
Meanwhile, Insp Laho has renewed his call for drivers to refrain drink driving.
He said this was the third incident in two weeks caused by drivers who were drunk despite numerous warnings by police.
The first two incidents occurred on the same night at Wara Kongkong Bridge outside Vanimo in which a policeman and two civilians were hospitalised.