Two sand trucks entered into a head-on collision, blocking the road for three hours.
Two sand lorry conductors or “motor-boys,” Onana Menye and Sil Engal, died on Friday, August 19, 2016, on the Yaounde-Ebebda highway after their two vehicles entered into a head-on collision in Lékié Division of Centre Region. According to Chief Warrant Officer Sida Edoa Pierre, the Commander of the Obala Gendarmerie Post, the accident occurred between 9 am and 10 am at Ayemkout, near Carrefour entrée Komo Mvog-Kani, about 6 km from Obala.
An empty truck from Yaounde was heading to Ebebda near River Sanaga to transport sand. Another lorry, fully loaded with sand, was returning from Ebebda. The accident happened when the empty lorry, which was descending a little hill, suddenly crossed over to the other side of the road where it collided with the loaded truck. A brewery truck that was following closely behind from Yaounde overturned and ended up in a nearby ravine after trying to avoid crushing the two accident vehicles.
Sida Edoa Pierre said the conductors of the two sand trucks died on the spot, while the three drivers were taken to hospital in nearby Efok and Yaounde. Though the Commander was at a loss to what caused the truck from Yaounde to cross over to the other lane to cause the accident, a police source in Obala suggested that the driver probably tried to save fuel by turning off the engine as he descended the hill. By the time he tried to switch it on, the steering wheel had become stiff, given that it is automatically-assisted, like in most vehicles today. Consequently, the truck only continued in the direction in which the steering was last turned.
The accident led to unprecedented gridlocks on both ends of the highway as firemen who were called in from Yaounde struggled to unclasp the corpses of Onana Menye and Sil Engal from the wreckage. It took about three hours to clear the wreckage for traffic flow to resume, Chief Warrant Officer Sida Edoa Pierre told Cameroon Tribune in Obala on Friday after returning from the scene.