BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – A tragic motor accident along the Buchanan-Monrovia highway has left three dead and seven persons wounded. The vehicle belonged to Rep. Fonati Koffa of Grand Kru’s second district.
The accident took place between Waka Town and BIA in Grand Bassa’s second district early on Sunday morning. Police immediately deployed a team to investigate the accident.
The vehicle had been transporting a team that had gone to Grand Kru to dedicate 108 homes built as part of a presidential special housing unit project. On its way back to Monrovia, the white pickup truck, which was carrying 10 persons – beyond the safe maximum capacity – suddenly veered off the road and rolled over seven times into a nearby valley.
One of the survivors was an engineer working on the project, Emmanuel B. Kollie. He explained the ordeal to The Bush Chicken: “We left Sasstown yesterday by 6 p.m. We drove throughout the night. The vehicle that took us there belongs to Hon. Fonati Koffa, district two representative. The fellow to whom this car assigned is Moses Wesseh from the honorable’s office – he took us there.”
Kollie said an assistant driver had driven the vehicle from Grand Kru until the team arrived in Greenville. There, Wesseh then took over driving, as the assistant driver was now sleepy.
Kollie recounted a moment of distracted driving that occurred immediately before the accident occurred.
“I heard him [Wesseh] telling the assistant driver, bring your side glass down because the air conditioner is not working. So, he brought the side glass down,” Kollie said. He later noted that the driver’s door had an issue where a damaged portion was hanging off the vehicle, with the breeze blowing that piece into the car occasionally.
Kollie said Wesseh attempted to fix this issue: “So, he held it, broke it, and threw it outside, but the breeze blew it back inside and his one hand was on the steering [wheel] – his attention was divided, actually and we were approaching the curve where you have the rail guide.”
He continued: “Before he could enter the rail guide, I just saw the car rock while his hand was outside to break that piece of plastic that was hanging on the door – that is just how I saw the car somersaulting more than seven times and went straight into the valley.”
Kollie explained that not everyone on board the vehicle was officially part of the team.
He added, “What I could remember when we got to the Sasstown checkpoint, there was a lady with her baby [who] continued pleading with the driver (at the time the assistant driver was on the steering). He said to her, no space on the car, but Moses Wesseh, the assigned driver, told him to pick the woman. He stopped and the lady convinced them and we all said there was no space.”
Kollie was one of the few who did not experience any major injuries, although he said he felt pain in his neck, back, and hands. The other occupants of the vehicle sustained major wounds on their necks, heads, and backs. Some had broken legs and hands and were bleeding significantly. They were taken to the Liberian Government Hospital in Buchanan for treatment.
The hospital’s medical director, Dr. Abraham Jawara, reported that ten patients were brought to the hospital from the accident scene. He noted that one person died on the scene while two others died upon arrival at the hospital.
Of the ten persons on board, eight were males and two were females. There was also one infant. The two females died, in addition to a male. Jawara said the three corpses are currently in the mortuary awaiting identification and subsequent delivery to their family members. Meanwhile, the rest of the seven patients, including the infant, are responding to treatment.
Featured photo by Sampson David