–after colleague died in accident
The Somalia Drive suburb of Monrovia particularly from the intersection of Barnesville to St. Francis community, leading to Paynesville City became no-go area early Monday, November 23, 2020 when angry crowd violently took the street to protest the instant killing of a commercial motorcyclist (name undisclosed) by a yellow commercial transport bus popularly known here as “Killer bean.”
The bus driver allegedly suffered brake failure near Barnesville Junction and instantly ran into the motorcyclist,smashing him to death.
According to eyewitnesses, the 13-year-old lad had parked at the side of the Somalia Drive to allow a passenger disembark, when he met his instant death, prompting fellow motorcyclists to go amok, setting the bus ablaze in apparent retribution.
In what was described as a counter-attack, more than four bikes were set ablaze in the same vicinity, prompting riot forces of the Liberia National Police to fire teargas canisters to disperse the protesting crowd and subsequently restore calm. One eyewitness said the minor came from nearby New Georgia community to see a family member when he was killed in the accident.
Dorothy Wilson, who claimed to have witnessed the accident, narrated that the bus driver lost control when the vehicle developed break problem.
She explained that after observing the brake problem, the driver of the vehicle immediately disembarked and started alarming to alert bystanders, but the victim was not paying attention when the bus ran into him.
She noted that the situation caused several individuals standing along the route to disembark from vehicles, including local petrol sellers to set the bus ablaze. Madam Wilson called on the Ministry of Transport (MOT) to erect speed-breakers along the Somalia Drive to prevent frequent motor accidents on the route.
She said speed-breakers would compel drivers in the habit of speeding unnecessarilyto reduce their speed each time they arrive at a speed-breaker.
Speaking in tears for the deceased, she called on the Liberia National Police (LNP) to vigorously impound and remove defective objects including vehicles plying the streets to prevent frequent accidents in Monrovia and its suburbs as the Christmas festive season approaches.
Liberia’s roads continue to witness vehicle and motorcycle accidents due to either drunk-driving or excessive speed, often resulting to loss of lives and properties.
Police disclosed arrest of over 20 persons in connection with the violence that saw normal traffic along the Barnesville Junction to 72nd Junction route momentarily obstructed. Police Spokesman Inspector Moses Carter late Monday four persons were arrested in the Jacob Town community, for allegedly burning four bikes.
Commercial cyclists here are noted for instantly resorting to violence each time one of their members is involved in a fatal accident, characterized by arson attacks against the vehicle involved.
About two weeks ago, similar violence between cyclists and commerce bus operators occurred along the Mount Barclay route outside Paynesville district after a commercial bus reportedly collided with a cyclist, killing him on the spot.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Editing by Jonathan Browne