SHARON E BARNABAS
THREE men are dead and four others seriously injured after a truck careered out of control and its trailer smashed into pedestrians along the notorious Harbour City stretch of the Poreporena Freeway last Friday.
Two of the young men killed are brothers from Enga province.
The three killed were pedestrians, while the four seriously injured included a taxi driver and his passengers.
The injured received severe facial lacerations, wounds to the body and possible internal injuries. The taxi driver also had one of his legs crushed.
Eyewitnesses said that shortly after midday last Friday, an earth mover truck was travelling down the seaward slope of the freeway towards downtown Port Moresby when the driver lost control.
“It is supposedly due to brake failure,” an eyewitness told The National at the scene.
Realising the danger, the truck driver and his offsider jumped out before the truck hurtled into the opposite lane and smashed into the taxi that was heading the other way.
The taxi was crushed under the truck, which is owned by an engineering firm.
Upon impact, the truck’s secondary trailer laden with sand and gravel was detached and thrown more than 30m away, crashing into the SVS Foodland perimetre fence.
It is believed that the detached secondary trailer hit the pedestrians, killing one on the spot while two others died in later hospital.
Traffic along the freeway crawled and came to a standstill, as pedestrians, motorists and firefighters rushed in to assist survivors and also free the taxi driver who was sandwiched in his sedan.
A source at Port Moresby General Hospital said four people were admitted with serious injuries while another person was treated and discharged.
Police are yet to determine the cause of accident.
They will question the truck driver and his offsider, who sustained minor injuries, after they are released from hospital.
This is not the first time such a traffic tragedy has occurred along this same stretch of road and the incident last Friday has raised grave concerns about big trucks, including semi-trailers, using the freeway.
Earlier this year, a water tanker belonging to a construction company overturned and exploded at the same spot, burning the driver alive.