A Bus Rapid Transit, BRT driver who was reportedly drunk while on the wheel has knocked down a naval officer’s wife, Bilikisu Adedoyin, at Irawo bus stop, Ajegunle, Ikorodu Road, Lagos State.
According to Punch Metro, the 43-year-old Adedoyin, who was on her way home before she was knocked down by the BRT bus with number plate EKY 160 XR, was taken to the emergency unit of the Ikorodu General Hospital, after allegedly being denied care by two private hospitals.
One of the commuters in the bus, Paul Chinedu, who said attempts to caution the driver, who was alleged to be drunk, proved abortive, added that the concerned authorities should caution the drivers of BRT buses in order to prevent the reoccurrence of such accidents.
“I was one of the passengers on the bus; I had been complaining about the driver’s speed and the fact that he was drunk, but he did not listen. When he spoke to me, I perceived the strong smell of alcohol from his breath. Suddenly, another bus emerged and the woman (Adedoyin) was on the road; the driver could not control the speed of the bus and that was how he knocked down the woman.
“The most annoying part was that when he jumped down from the bus to see what had happened, he took the next available motorcycle and ran away. Those in charge of the BRT buses need to caution their drivers to reduce their speed while driving on the BRT lanes, and to watch the way they live, because the driver was drunk and that was why this accident happened.”
Another commuter, Jeffry Nneji, said the driver was not focused, because he was multitasking while taking the passengers to their various destinations.
The 22-year-old said:
“Everybody was in shock because of this accident. To be honest, the driver was driving at more than the regulated speed for BRT buses. I boarded the bus at Agric and while on the way, we observed that the driver was scratching the pavement from the outset. He was also multitasking; he was using his headphones and playing music while driving. We cautioned him before this accident happened, but he was not bothered.
“In an attempt to avoid knocking the woman down, he drove into the other lane but another BRT bus was close by and it was too late for him to control the bus, because the speed was much and he hit the woman. Immediately, he jumped out of the bus to see the victim and he just disappeared.”
An eyewitness, Obi Benson, who had wanted to board a vehicle at the bus stop, said he beckoned on other people to come and rescue the woman when she was bleeding profusely on the floor.
Adedoyin’s husband, Adebowale, who said he became worried when his wife’s telephone line was unreachable, added that he was informed of the accident by a family friend.
The naval officer said:
“Her number was not going through when I called her around 9:15pm, so my thought was that she had a flat battery. But I became worried when I later tried her line and it still didn’t go through. It was a family friend who called to inform me that she was involved in an accident and had been transferred to the Ikorodu General Hospital. When I got there, I saw that she sustained injuries on her head, hands and legs.
“When I asked for the age of the driver, the representative of the company, who came to visit the victim, told me he was about 22-year-old. I was surprised that someone that young drove the bus. But the accident has happened, and my wife’s life is more precious to me and I thank God that she can now open her eyes.
“Although, we are still watching her, I was told that she would need a brain scan, which will cost about N40,000, I have spent over N43,000 on her medical bills at the hospital, but the management of the company has assured me that they will take care of the expenses.”
The Chief Security Officer, Primero Transport Services Limited, Cletus Okodolor, said the management was paying attention to Adedoyin’s recuperation at the Ikorodu General Hospital.
“I cannot say yes or no to the issue of the driver being drunk, because the police, who have him in their custody, did not tell me that. What normally happens is that whenever there is an accident, there is this fear that they (drivers) will be attacked by the angry mob.
“We have always told our drivers that in the case of any accident, they should go to the nearest police station, and if any of our depots happens to be close, they should go there so that we can sort it out and afterwards submit our vehicle to the police.
“The driver is new with us and it was out of fear that he ran away. It was when we contacted the police that they came to take the bus to the station and took the driver into custody. I can’t also deny the issue of speed, because I don’t know the level of speed he was maintaining as of the time the accident happened.
But we always warn them against exceeding 45 kilometres per hour. Even, during my training, I always told them that there were areas that you were not allowed the 45 kilometres per hour.
“We are paying the lady attention at the Ikorodu General Hospital and I am already speaking with the husband, who confirmed to me that his wife had been responding to treatment. So, the due process is being followed on this matter; in our usual way, we don’t always want to talk about who is at fault, because we don’t compromise life. I have sent my boys there and they said she is responding to treatment.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, who confirmed the accident to our correspondent, said the driver ran to the police station to report the accident.
“The woman involved in that accident with the BRT bus is recuperating in the hospital. However, the driver did not run away, he ran to the police station and reported himself. He is currently in detention and investigation is ongoing,” Oti stated.