The Police in Lagos has said the driver of the government staff bus that collided with a moving train at Shogunle, Ikeja area of the state on Thursday, Oluwaseun Osinbajo, has been arrested and will be prosecuted soon.
The ill-fated bus with Lagos number plates 04A- 48LA, number 33, was heading to Alausa, Ikeja, from Isolo.
While trying to beat other motorists at the PWD rail crossing, it collided with an oncoming train. It was carrying several passengers, mostly civil servants and some dependents.
Meanwhile, there was low a turnout of civil servants at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Friday, as workers continued to mourn the tragic death of their six colleagues and 80 others injured in the train accident.
A few workers, in pensive mood, who reported for duty, observed a half-day operation as they closed at about 12 noon. Some of the workers were seen in groups, discussing the development.
One of the workers who spoke with Switch Nigeria on condition of anonymity described the accident as “scary and unfortunate”.
“I know the driver to be a gentleman, I don’t know what came over him to do what he is alleged to have done.
“For those who died, we pray to God to grant them eternal rest and the families the fortitude to bear the loss. As you can see, we (workers) are in a deep mourning mood here in Alausa.”
Recall that Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, after visiting the victims at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, to commiserate with them, declared a three-day mourning and flags to fly at half-mast within the period, suspending all forms of all public engagements and political campaigns.
Sanwo-Olu, in a swift response, expressed deep shock and sorrow over the unfortunate incident.
According to Sanwo-Olu; “I am deeply saddened by the news of the accident. The vehicle was conveying staff of the Lagos State Government, our staff who serve the state in different capacities.
“Let’s say a prayer for the families and a prayer of mercy and protection for our state.
“My thoughts are with the victims and their families during this difficult time.”
According to some of the survivors, the driver was warned but shunned all entreaties not to beat the approaching train in an attempt to meander his way through other vehicles that had stopped.
A staff of the Lagos State Government, who did not want to be mentioned, said she stopped travelling in that particular bus because of the risk the driver had taken in the past dashing across the rail track with a fast-approaching train.
According to her, “Though it was the most convenient bus for me to take on my route, I stopped boarding the bus because we had in the past warned the man against beating train warnings.
“But he would not listen. Now it has happened.”
A mother with her daughter and husband, a student on Industrial Training Scheme, among others survived the fatal auto crash.
Police confirm the arrest of the driver
Commissioner for Police, CP, Lagos State Railway Command, CP, Yetunde Longe, when contacted on Friday, said: “After investigations and taking of the necessary details, the driver whose name is Oluwaseun Osinbajo, will be arraigned in court.
“First, he will be transferred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, because of the fact that he is a Lagos State staff.”
Longe said the driver had been arrested after undergoing psychiatric, and drug tests.
The said driver, who was among those rushed to LASUTH, was said to have been ushered into another unit in the hospital for psychiatric, physiological and drug tests.
She added: “We are investigating the number of people that died in the crash.
“An autopsy will be conducted on the remains of the victims on Friday.
“Presently, we are with the driver, we are handing him over to doctors for medical examinations because there was a flag officer at the railway crossing, flagging him down, but he refused to stop.
“This is why we must subject him to a medical examination. As a driver, this is one of the tests you have to take note of because when you get to a level crossing, the train will be honking for people to know that a train is coming.
“Drivers should ensure they are patient for the train pass.”
When asked why there was no barrier at the level crossing, Longe stated: “Unfortunately, for now, we don’t have such a thing there anymore.
“But there was a signalman who was at the crossing in the morning when the crash occurred. The driver of the bus never obeyed the signalman. That was what caused the crash.
“The driver, if found culpable, will be prosecuted and we are working with the state Department of Public Prosecution.
“They are gathering more evidence to prosecute him. The driver is in our custody presently.”
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