Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has blamed the death of Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, James Ocholi, his wife and son, on over speeding and the failure to use seat belt by the late Minister and his family. FRSC investigation also revealed that Minister’s driver, Elegbede, has no valid driver’s license.
Corps Marshal of FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, made this known Wednesday during a valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council in honour of the late Ocholi at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“There were 10 persons involved in the accident and 9 were adults. The minister and his son died on the spot, while his wife died at the hospital. The driver of the crashed vehicle was moving at excess of the stipulated speed when he had a tyre burst. The investigation team gathered that the driver of the backup vehicle had noticed that the minister’s vehicle rear left tyre was under-inflated, and availability of radio communication deprived him of access to the minister’s driver..
“There was no record on the driver’s licence national database of the driver of the Hon. Minister with the name Taiwo James Elegbede. The Dunlop tyres of the SUV were not expired but were wrongly fixed and could have affected its performance.
The situation would have been salvaged if there had been a mode of communication between the minister’s car and the backup car, as the latter had noticed the state of the tyres and tried to stop them. The crashed vehicle’s driver was driving too fast and he slammed on his brake so hard. These two factors materially contributed to the inability of the driver to maintain control when the left rear tyre burst.
Skid marks and grooves found on the westbound shoulder made by the Lexus LX570 for about 15m and 9.3m respectively before it began somersaulting severely and the ejection of the minister and his son showed clearly that the travelling speed of the Lexus LX570 presented unsafe consequences in the event of certain road risk that may have occurred.
The driver must have entered into a panic situation which resulted to his hard application of brakes and subsequent loss of control that took him into the bush path. The DOT number of the tyres were inward which cannot easily be read from outside. This indicates that the orientations of the tyres were not properly fixed which could adversely affect the performance of the tyres.
The Federal Road Safety Corps Investigation Team (FIT) determines that the probable cause of the March 6, 2016 fatal crash at KM34 Kaduna -Abuja expressway near Rijana village, Kaduna State, was the driver’s failure to maintain directional control of his vehicle when the rear left tyre burst occurred.
Severity of the fatality was increased due to the ejection of the minister and his son as a result of non-use of rear seat belt,” Mr. Oyeyemi said.