By Frank Ulom
A video obtained by CONVERSEER shows that the Toyota Camry with the number plate “Cross River – DUK 505 PE” that killed 8 people, including a pregnant woman and injured 28 others, was part of the Bikers’ Carnival, one of the major activities of the prestigious Carnival Calabar and Festivals.
CONVERSEER had reported that 7 persons died on the spot while 29 others were severely injured and taken to the General and Nigerian Navy Reference Hospitals in the accident that happened on December 27, 2022, at Mary Slessor Avenue by Bogobiri, close to the mosque. However, one other person later died at the hospital, taking the death toll to 8 and the number of injured victims to 28.
The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Cross River State, Maikano Hassan, who disclosed the information on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, said the injured victims included 21 adult males, 3 women, 2 male children and 3 female children.
Hassan who said that the additional casualty was one of the injured 3 female children, added that “We went round the hospital where the injured were being treated to discover that one additional death had been recorded.
“We are also pleased to say that some of those injured in the incident had been discharged, while others were responding well to treatment”.
The driver who was reported to have turned himself in to the Police in the state was identified as Toyin Wahab Salawu. The Commissioner of Police in the State, CP Sule Balarabe, confirmed that the State Command is holding the driver in their custody.
The Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade who on Wednesday morning, December 28, 2022, visited the victims at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Calabar and in turn paid their hospital bills, alleged that the vehicle was not part of the Carnival.
However, a viral video spotted by CONVERSEER on Thursday, December 29, 2022, shows that the accident vehicle was part of the carnival and not an errant or Bolt driver like the Governor and his appointees earlier alleged.
According to the video footage, the Toyota Camry was following another vehicle from behind that was spraying money and scampering started. Both vehicles were at high speed.
The spraying of the money and the scampering by the spectators, caused the Toyota Camry to ram into the crowd of people, which resulted in a bloodbath.
Usani Iwara, a family member of one of the victims said: “I just discovered that one of my first cousins was among the victims of this crash. He passed away last night”.
The Vehicle that caused the accident at Carnival Calabar was part of the Bikers/Cars Parade.
— Converseer (@converseernews) December 29, 2022
When introduced earlier, only motorcycles and motorbikes participated in the Bikers’ Parade until recently when Governor Ben Ayade introduced cars (vintage). It was then renamed as Bikers/Cars Parade. You can see that in the Calendar here.
Our Reporter further noticed that there were no single iron barricades separating the spectators from the bikers and carnival routes as was done in the past.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW