Relatives Of 13 People Killed, 16 Injured In PNG Motor Crash Demand Compensation

Fatal truck collision with PMV brings call for $15 million for families

By Lynette Kil

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 11, 2017) – Relatives of the 13 deceased and 16 injured passengers in Monday’s fatal motor vehicle crash in Northern Province yesterday demanded K50 million [US$15 million] in compensation for the tragedy.

Northern Provincial Police Commander chief superintendent Lincoln Gerari said the demand was in a petition which over 5000 people gathered at Popondetta town to hand over.

Mr Gerari said it was addressed to the Northern Provincial Administration, the Member for Sohe Open Delilah Gore and management of the oil palm company whose multi-tonne truck was involved.

He said the crowd comprising people mostly from Timbeki and Barevaturu villages had gotten rowdy when they initially started their presentation.

But he said a heavy downpour dispersed the crowd before they could complete their presentation resulting in the petition not handed over at all.

Mr Gerari did not indicate how the people intended to hand over the petition now or what was contained in it.

On Monday at 3.30pm a truck carrying oil palm collided with a PMV at East Embogo killing 13 people instantly and injuring 16.

Among the 13 were children, a pregnant mother, the crew and the driver of the bus, and Oro District Treasurer Gilbert Manduru.

Popondetta General Hospital chief executive officer Dr Ganzee Gawin confirmed the 13 deaths and the treatment of the 16 who are in stable condition.

According to police reports the driver of the truck was driving at a high speed trying to overtake another vehicle at a bend and ploughed into the oncoming PMV.

The driver of the oil palm truck was arrested and is in police custody while investigations are continuing.

“It will be history for the people of Oro as we have not experienced such number of deaths,” Mr Gerari said.

Speaking of the accident he said people must understand that traffic rules are very important and they must take heed of them.

PNG Post-Courier
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