The Ebonyi Police Command has confirmed the crushing of a skater by an articulated vehicle in Abakaliki, on Friday evening.
Mr Jude Madu, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), confirmed the accident on Saturday, noting that investigations into it had begun.
According to him, the deceased had been identified and more information on the accident would be released next week.“The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the area where the accident occurred will give us more details on Monday to assist us in the investigations.
“We assure the public that we will get to the root of the matter and ensure that such does not recur,’’ he said. A witness, Mr Paul Okofia, told NAN that the accident occurred at about 6 p.m. on Friday at the NEPA Junction area of the Old Abakalik-Enugu road.
“The skater aged about 25, held the edge of an articulated vehicle which was on top speed as has been the practice among skaters who have besieged the town recently.
“His hands apparently slipped from the vehicle which made him to fall instantly and was tragically crushed by the rear tyre of the speeding articulated vehicle,’’ he said.
He remarked that the incident caused pandemonium in the area and disrupted free-flow of traffic for several hours along the busy road.
“Women, especially, wailed on beholding the mangled body of the young skater as those who claimed to know him said that he had been warned repeatedly by his parents to desist from practicing the sport on express roads.
“A mob gathered to set the articulated vehicle aflame but the police quickly intervened and brought the situation under control.
“The corpse was eventually evacuated to a mortuary in the town as security agencies restored normal flow of traffic along the road,’’ he said.
Mrs Eugenia Umeh, a youth activist, regretted the incident and called for stringent measures by the government to stop youths from skating on the roads in the state.
“The State House of Assembly should immediately pass a law prohibiting such practices while parents and other stakeholders should enlighten youths on the dangers of skating on the roads.
“The deceased has brought untold anguish and pains to his parents and relations as this should serve as a lesson to others to desist from such practices,’’ she said.