Commuters groan as auto crash compounds Lagos-Ibadan gridlock
A few seconds of madness by a truck driver on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, yesterday, cost motorists and commuters several hours of agony.
The driver of a truck fully loaded with granite, was heading towards Lagos, but suddenly made a detour near Kara and an unsuspecting tanker rammed into it.
An eyewitness, Emeka Mordi, said the intensity of the crash forced the engine of the tanker to drop and the tanker crossed the entire road, leading to a day of agony for motorists and commuters.
Mordi, who works on the Island, said he escaped by a whisker.
According to him, the incident, which occurred about 4.00a.m., worsened the traffic situation in the axis, both inward and outward Lagos.
Although no life was lost in the incident, it left motorists and commuters, who were rushing to work, stranded as vehicular movement inward and outward Lagos was halted for hours as responders tried to salvage the situation.
An official of TRACE, who spoke with The Guardian in confidence, said the rescue took some time because of the fallen engine, while impatience drivers of many drivers, who were making diversions at unauthorised points compounded the situation. Traffic stretched to Mountain Top University inward Lagos and Ogudu, outward Lagos.
A resident at Magboro, Monday Iriekpen, who works at a private school at Central Business District, Alausa, Ikeja, said he left his house by 5:00a.m. but got to his office at 10:50a.m.
Iriekpen said he was able to maneuver because he took the earth road as the Long Bridge which was totally on a standstill.
A commuter, Emeka Onah, said he boarded a bus from Mowe but could not continue his trip to Lagos and had to make a U-turn at Magboro.
Another commuter, Ifeoluwa Anu, said she had to ride on a commercial motorcycle from Mowe to Berger for N1000.
Anu said she also had to take another bike for N200 from Berger to Secretariat as there was no bus at the bus stop.
According to her, she decided to take the dangerous option because of the important engagement she had at Allen Avenue in Ikeja.
While Anu was lucky to get a bike, many others had to trek from Arepo to Berger, while many who had no serious business turned back.
But speaking to The Guardian on the recurring crashes and gridlocks on the expressway, the Lagos State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Olusegun Ogungbemide, said as long as the construction process was ongoing, crashes and gridlocks should be expected.
According to him, the gridlock experienced yesterday was caused by irresponsibility of the driver who decided to reverse on a highway and in the process, hit another vehicle.
He said the removal of the obstruction would have been easier if not for the fact that the engine of the tanker dropped and needed some extra efforts to move it, coupled with the construction work on the axis.
He sympathised with commuters on the traffic situation and urged motorists to always show restraint during times of crashes as FRSC official are always prompt to attend to crashes.
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