A young man from Ambae who was riding in the back of a pickup truck was killed when he fell off the vehicle while he was trying to secure some house materials yesterday, police say.
The truck was travelling with a heavy load passed the Sunset Bungalows towards Starfish Cove when the driver reportedly overtook another vehicle and the accident happened.
Eyewitnesses said the man was sitting behind the truck loaded with house materials, including some bags of cement and some plywoods on top.
They said the victim was sitting on the plywoods which were not tied down but had a bag of cement placed on top to stop the materials from falling off the truck.
According to reports the bag of cement also fell off and landed on the victim.
Several sources claimed they tried to call Promedical and police.
According to reports, a police officer who happened to be on the scene at the time rushed down to his workplace and alert his co-workers on duty.
Police said it’s possible that they might have missed the calls due to their workload yesterday but even if they had reached the scene in time, there was nothing that could be done to save the victim.
Police said the victim lost a significant amount of blood.
They said the truck was on its way to Stella View when the accident occurred.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity has not been released.
Daily Post’s investigation has found that there were only two people on the truck, the driver and the victim who was sitting at the back and holding the materials.
Police confirmed the case is under investigation and it is likely that the driver could be charged with reckless driving causing death.
They said a driver is responsible for everyone inside a moving vehicle.
“We wish to offer our condolences to the family and friends of the man killed in this tragic accident,” police said.
They said that riding at the back of a truck is restricted in some countries, however Vanuatu doesn’t have a specific regulation that restricts passengers from doing so.
Police said Vanuatu’s Traffic Control Act only mentioned the responsibility of a driver but does not prohibit people from sitting at the back of a truck.
Police mentioned there was a similar accident in the past when another young man, also from Ambae fell off a truck at the same location with some mattresses.