And overwhelmed by the grief occasioned by the tragedy, Iworoko youths, after the accident, barricaded the dual carriageway that passes through the community to ventilate their anger towards the tragic loss of their loved ones.
The accident, which occurred last Saturday night at about 8:45pm in the town’s market, claimed no less than 15 lives.
Among the dead were students of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), a corps member, residents, traders in the market, a nursing mother and child.
The ugly incident was allegedly caused by a sudden brake failure of an articulated vehicle fully loaded with customised bags of rice bearing the picture and name of a lawmaker representing Ondo Central at the National Assembly, Senator Tayo Alasoadura.
The truck crashed through three shops and a small commercial bus known, locally known as “Akoto,” which was carrying some passengers, before ramming into a mini market at the centre of the town.
One of the shops, a barbing saloon, was densely crowded with residents and students charging their cell phones inside and outside it.
But for the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the casualty figure could have been higher because the market where the truck ran into, according to a source, used to be densely populated by EKSU students whenever the school is in session.
Wailing profusely, a grandmother, Raliat Karimu, mourned the death of her relative, Funmi, who died with her son and granddaughter in the accident. She lived at a house located on 5, Layelu Street, behind the three shops destroyed by the truck.
The bodies of the deceased were deposited at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) morgue, while the survivors were receiving treatment at the same hospital.
A worker in the hospital, who craved anonymity, confirmed that 12 bodies of those who lost their lives in the accident, including students of EKSU, have been deposited at the state morgue.
He added that four injured victims of the accident are receiving treatment at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital.
Angry Iworoko youths, shortly after the crash, barricaded the dual carriageway that passes through the community and chased away a towing truck of the State Traffic Management Agency, saying that it had come too late to rescue the victims.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, commiserated with the people of Iworoko and families of the dead over the accident.
The governor, who had earlier directed the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, to pay a condolence visit to the community on Sunday morning, said in a statement that he was saddened and disheartened by the news of the fatal accident. Fayemi, who noted that many lives have been lost to the recklessness of many trailer drivers, said government might be compelled to re-introduce some old laws and previous arrangements to deal with the menace.
He urged the community leaders and families of the victims of the accident to remain calm, even as “we collectively mourn the death of our beloved ones in the unfortunate incident.”
The governor lamented: “This is a huge tragedy and a painful experience, not only for the families of the victims but for all of us. We share with the people of Iworoko and families of the victims the pain and sorrow of the unfortunate development.
“Government will also look at areas of support with a view to ameliorating the pains.”
Deputy Governor, Egbeyemi, visited the hospital along Adebayo area of the state capital and assured the injured victims that their bills would be paid by the state government.
Describing the accident as the most fatal in the last few years in the state, a sympattiser prayed that God “would grant the relations of the deceased the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss”.
A leader of the Tipper Drivers Union in the state, Ganiu Tijani, stressed that the driver must have dozed off before ramming the ill-fated truck into the market.
Tijani said: “I want to believe that the driver of the truck must have slept off before he rammed it into the market. If not, he would have been able to manoeuvre the truck, hit the culvert on the road and prevented this tragedy.
“The fact that the vehicle jumped over the road and rammed into the market speaks volumes about the driver’s carelessness”.
Barely six days after the ghastly accident in Iworoko, that claimed 15 lives, the monarch of the town, Oba Michael Oluwafemi Aladejana, also passed on.
One of the prominent indigenes of the town, who craved anonymity, said the trailer accident had worsened the health situation of the monarch.
“Our monarch was rushed to the hospital after the accident. Though, he had been having health issues before but that accident worsened things for him.
survivor, an eight-year-old girl, Egunlusi Wumi Titilayo, explained that she was at the Iworoko mini market with her grandmother and cousin, who died in the accident when the truck on motion swerved and rammed into the market.
Titilayo added that while she was trying to escape from the scene, having seen her grandma and cousin die, she fell into a drainage where she had one of her legs broken.
She said: “I was rescued from the scene by some unidentified sympathisers who took me to the hospital”.
Another survivor, Akanni Amusa Omolayo, a security guard with Omodewa Nursery and Primary School, Iworoko, disclosed that the accident caught him unawares.
“I was coming from the market side and heading towards Alaworoko’s palace when I heard a noise from the spot of the accident.
“I couldn’t turn back to see was happening before I was hit by the truck. Glory be to Almighty God for sparing my life till this moment”, he said.