Traffic news photo

Hyundai Bongo public transport yesterday hours after the crash

Richard Nanua

Around 22 victims sustained permanent injuries but authorities have confirmed their conditions were stable after the Bongo public transport they were travelling in flipped and rolled four times.

Daily Post was told that some of the victims had their arms broken on impact while others sustained serious bruises on their bodies.

Some had their knuckles totally damaged and were removed yesterday afternoon at Vila Central Hospital (VCH).

The driver who is from Tanna was remanded in police custody as from yesterday afternoon and Traffic Senior Inspector, Graham Bihu, said that the information surrounding the crash is still sketchy.

But sources alleged that the driver was travelling at high speed and overtook a vehicle but failed to make it back to his correct lane because the vehicle was overloaded and lost its balance, flipped in the air before it capsized and rolled throwing the passengers one after the other starting from the road into the bush.

Mr Bihu said that the driver ran off from the scene after the impact but gave himself to the police after he heard rumours that the victims’ relatives were hunting for him.

He said that to avoid the situation to escalate further from the existing trauma, he walked into the police station for his own safety.

The truck was reportedly transporting 22 Tanna men to take part in a football tournament at Teouma Bush.

All victims were reportedly from Tanna and are residing at the end of the Bauerfield Airport.

Mr Bihu said that the suspect was supposed to be charged this morning and a remand will be necessary on this case as tension is still high.

He said that speed must be the main factor of the crash with the contribution of the heavy rain yesterday morning.

He said that police were not aware of the accident yesterday after no one attempted to call the authorities to report the matter.

Relatives of the victims who were around at VCH yesterday confirmed that they had to find a service bus to take the injured men to the hospital after the accident.

They said that after the arrival, they were placed under high medical watch until their condition was stabilized then they were discharged from emergency ward for treatments.

Authorities confirmed that with this accident, police recorded three crashes now within two weeks at the same site near Second Lagoon - between the junction towards Fletcher and the exit road to Etas.

Police appeals to all drivers to keep to a safe speed limit wherever they go and ensure that the safety of the people behind them is paramount.

They said that it is their responsibility to remind all drivers on how they should drive. The police said said that the passengers also need to know whoever is driving them because today so many drivers are driving illegally endangering life of every road users.

Mr Bihu said that the driver involved in the accident is yet to be cautioned and have his driving documents checked.

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