It was an horrific scence at the Oniparaga village, Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, after two pupils from the same family were crushed to death by a truck driver.
It was learnt that the children– eight-year-old Patience Clement and Godwin Clement, six– were heading for St. Philips Primary School, Oniparaga, when they were hit by the truck around 10am.
Officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps were said to have rushed them to the Oniparaga Health Centre, where they were confirmed dead.
Parents of the victims were said to have broken down in tears after seeing the corpses of their children before they were moved to the mortuary.
An angry mob reportedly attacked the truck driver, identified as James Simon, and beat him to a pulp.
He would have been killed him but for the intervention of policemen from the Araromi Ogun division, who took him into custody.
An official of the FRSC, who did not want to be identified, said the suspect was driving against the traffic when the incident occured.
He lamented that the tragedy could have been prevented if the children were guided by an adult while crossing the expressway.
He said, “The two children, aged between six and eight, were going to school this morning. Unfortunately, they did not know that truck drivers usually drive against the traffic. They never knew there would be a route violation. They were about crossing when the truck crushed them.
“We rushed them to a hospital at Ore, where they were confirmed dead. The truck was handed over to the police. People have been crying since the incident happened. The children’s parents have been inconsolable. The children were too tender to be left alone to cross the expressway.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident, adding that the suspect was in custody.
He said, “The 30-year-old driver was coming from Lagos State and heading towards Ore when he decided to drive against the traffic. The kids, who were going to school, did not take notice and they were crushed to death.
A mob descended on the driver and he would have been lynched but for the intervention of our men. What is sad about the incident is that the children were from the same parents.”
The Ondo State Acting FRSC Sector Commander, Ann Odeleye, advised motorists against breaking traffic rules, saying the accident was avoidable.
She said the agency would continue to educate truck drivers and other motorists on the dangers of violating traffic laws.
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Source: ( Punch Newspaper )