A deadly accident involving a four-passenger taxi and a Malian bus in the early hours of Thursday morning instantly claimed the lives of three people with a fourth passenger hospitalised for sustaining serious injuries.
The fatal accident that happened between 3 and 4am, at a time when it was raining heavily, took placed in Busumbala village of the West Coast Region and it is said to have devastated the Kombo North settlement. Onlookers described it as one of the deadliest and most serious accidents to have occurred in the village.
Daily Observer sources said both vehicles were running beyond the speed limit at a time when it was raining heavily and the tar road became slippery. Sources added that the bus, with a Malian registration number AV2259, and driving towards Serrekunda and the taxi, with registration number BJL 1417 L, moving towards Brikama, collided at a high speed. As a result, the taxi was pushed towards the other side of the road while the bus entered into a nearby compound and further hit and brought down a shop inside the said compound.
Our Daily Observer reporter, who visited the scene of the accident, said The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services had to use a hydraulic rescue tool to extricate Ousman Mbaye, the driver, from the vehicle. He added that blood stains could be found everywhere around the scene.
Alhagie Mbaye, brother to the deceased driver, who spoke to this reporter, said he was informed by the friend of one of his younger brothers who recognised the car while driving past it in another vehicle. “The fire officers were called to cut some parts of the taxi to be able to extricate my brother from the taxi,” an emotional Alhagie Mbaye lamented.
Ousman Barrow, a Malian national, who is also working with Sanef Transport Voyageurs, a bus company transporting goods and people between The Gambia and Mali, said the bus involved in the accident was coming from Bamako, and belongs to TA Express Company, another bus company in Mali.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of The Gambia Police Force, ASP Lamin Njie, confirmed the tragic incident to the Daily Observer. He said the accident happened at a time when it was raining heavily, noting that both drivers were driving at high speed which may have resulted to the incident.
He urged drivers to be extra careful when driving particularly when it is raining. He confirmed that there was no casualty on the Malian bus.
by Momodou Jawo