At least one person was killed and four others were on critical list yesterday after a truck loaded with 2×10-inch planks fell on its side after the driver swerved the truck to climb a side hill on Bomi Highway, near Gbarma Town.
An eyewitness told the Daily Observer that the truck, coming from Tubmanburg, Bomi County, suddenly swerved away from the main highway and he saw the driver struggling to gain control of the truck.
Loaded with planks from Bopolu, Gbarpolu County, the five men were sitting on top of the planks when the incident occurred. The one-truck incident, the witness said, saw one of the men seated on the truck falling before the planks dropped on him.
“There was a lot of blood and I knew that he would not make it,” the witness, who was traveling to Tubmanburg at the time of the incident, said. He added that while the victim was struggling for life, four others, who were also sitting on top of the planks, had fallen with some planks dropping on them.
With help difficult to come, neighbors rushed to the scene and began to lift the planks from the victims.
“It was a desperate situation so someone from among us called the Bomi County Radio Station and pleaded with a call for help,” the witness said. He said the radio sent out appeals to Tubmanburg government hospital and police officers in the city for assistance.
Meanwhile, help came and the victims were rushed to the government hospital and information said the young man that many of the planks fell on suffered heavy blood loss and massive head injury, and did not survive.
However, Tubmanburg hospital officials would not reveal details of the conditions of the four survivors, but described them as ‘very critical’.
Up to late yesterday, the truck was still lying on its side, occupying much of the highway with the planks removed and stacked on the side of the highway. Local residents told the Daily Observer that truck drivers and their helpers are in the habit of sitting on top of planks with loads of bags of coal without concern for their safety.
“Police officers would have to ensure that car boys don’t sit on top of their trucks without any safety mechanism to avoid unnecessary loss of lives,” a local resident told the Daily Observer.