A school girl was killed yesterday afternoon (February 2, 2018) and many injured after a Hyundai PMV truck ran off the road down a steep slope along the Toma-Viviran road at Toma-Vunadidir LLG, in the Gazelle District of East New Britain Province.
EMTV Online spoke with an eyewitness, Mark Uraliu the Database Officer for ENBP and he confirmed the accident which occurred just next to where he resides.
“It was around, about half past three, from my knowledge, they picked up the school girls from Malabunga Secondary School at Toma junction,” Mr Uraliu said.
Uraliu said, the accident occurred at a sharp corner just near where he resides when the driver allegedly failed to apply the brakes.
“The truck actually lost its brake, the driver lose control so it rolled down the valley past the junction and off a small cliff.”
According to Uriliu, one female student was killed during the accident, and the other(also a female student) and the other is in critical condition.
“Three of the injured are here at the Vunapope hospital and the other five are at Nonga General Hospital .” Mr Uriliu said the others with minor injuries have been discharged this morning (February 3, 2018).
Most of the passengers on the vehicle were students of Malabunga Secondary School.
“They were picked up on the way after they had been dropped of by a PMV bus from the school. The truck picked up these students not at the school but on the spot of my map where it says Toma junction, and they encounter the accident at the junction where on the map says Bitakapuk” Mr Uraliu said.
He also said that there were heavy downpours since last night so students hopped on any vehicle that came across for a ride home.
When asked about the road condition, Mark has this to say;
“The road is sealed, it is also confirmed that the truck is unregistered and the driver and the crew were searching for the parts of the vehicle earlier today”.
The critically injured were taken to Nonga General Hospital and others were taken to Vunapope hospital after being attended to at the nearby Paparataua Health Centre.
A recent accident along the same road involved a Toyota Land Cruiser which had no casualties.
Image: Mark Uraliu