Five people died, three injured in a fatal Independence accident
AT Least five people have died and three sustained injuries in a fatal accident on Wednesday night at the Tenaru Bridge.
The tragic accident involved a privately owned vehicle used as a passenger vehicle.
According to police report, the accident has involved a double cabin land cruiser traveling in the easterly direction towards the Tenaru bridge and ran through a group of people who were watching a fundraising activity in front of the old Tenaru bridge.
Supervising Provincial Police Commander (PPC) Guadalcanal Province, Superintendent Edwin Sevoa, said the land cruiser was chased by a police vehicle for careless driving from Burns Creek area on their way up to Tenaru.
During the chase, the driver of the land cruiser saw an incoming vehicle on the bridge so he decided to drive through the old bridge where a fundraising took place.
The vehicle went straight towards the crowd and hit several people on the spot.
It was reported the driver of the land cruiser and his passengers were escaping after the accident and were later arrested by the police with the help of relatives and bystanders.
Angry relatives then retaliated by burning the land cruiser into ashes.
A visit to the accident site by the Solomon Star yesterday saw the remains of the burnt vehicle as well as another private vehicle which was hit by the land cruiser.
According to an eye witness, the scene on the night of the accident was shocking as the five victims were seen lying lifeless on the ground.
“The scene last night (Wednesday) was shocking.
“No one knew this was going to happen. This tragic accident left all of us in surprise.
“We enjoyed watching the entertainment being displayed when the land cruiser suddenly run into the group of crowd standing here.
“I had to push away my two children to escape the oncoming vehicle. We are so lucky that we survived,” the eye witness said with total disbelief.
Another eye witness said, the driver was lucky to be saved by members of the Police that involved in the chase.
“If the Police did not show up, the driver would have been killed by the angry relatives of the victims.
“After the land cruiser stopped, he escaped but was apprehended few minutes later by by-standers,” the man said.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the National Referral Hospital (NRH), George Malefoasi has confirmed to this paper the five were pronounced dead on arrival at the NRH.
Police are now establishing an investigation into this matter, and is calling on the parties involved to refrain from taking the laws into their own hands.
“Please, let’s allow police to deal with the matter so that those responsible could face justice.
“Our condolences to the family and relatives of the deceased for the loss of their loved ones,” PPC Sevoa said in a statement yesterday.
By FOLLET JOHN & ANDREW FANASI