By Christopher Nyeko
Gulu: At least 12 mobile members of the Gulu Main Market Vendor’s Association who were today heading to a weekly market in Lungulu Sub County in Nwoya district got injured after they were suddenly involved in a fatal road crash.
The traders were boarding a white Fuso fighter truck with registration number UBF859P, which was being manned by one Ochola Kicele Joe, alias Lamony.
The incident happened at around 9:10 a.m. at a customs corner in the compound of Blessed Petrol Station located in Bardege-Layibi division of Gulu city.
Patrick Omaya, the chairperson of the Gulu Main Market Vendor Association, confirmed the incident, describing it as “unfortunate.”
The traffic and road safety department of Gulu CPS has identified the injured as Aye Stella, aged 40; Okeny Pope, aged 40; Sserunjogo Faruk, aged 25; and Nakabuye Hajala, aged 35.
Other victims were Ojuka Jimmy Kado, 38; Niringiye Ronald, aged 28; AKello Jenifer, aged 37; Akumu Betty, aged 26; Abdalla Aziz, aged; and Acan Concy, aged 37.
However, two victims were only identified as Owagi, aged 40, and Eunice, aged 30, while others are yet to be identified.
Ochola Lacelle Joe, the driver, told police that the brake system failed him when he approached the custom corner round, making it harder for him to negotiate the corner, prompting him to veer off-road and fall within the compound of Blessed Petrol Station, injuring its occupants.
The victims were evacuated to St. Mary’s Lacor Hospital for medical attention.
Meanwhile, the Lorry was towed and parked at the Gulu West police parking yard pending an IOV inspection.
David Ongom Mudong, the Aswa West Region Police Spokesperson, says they have released the driver on police bond to proceed with treatment as more inquiries continue.
The police officer condemns the use of cargo trucks in dangerous mechanical conditions that are, in most cases, overloaded and overspeeding to transport market vendors, as it endangers their lives.
Similarly, last year, on November 1, 2022, four members of the Gulu main market were killed on the spot when a Canter vehicle registration number UBF 743B they were traveling on board lost control and overturned along Walter Opwonya Road in Bardege-Layibi division at around 9:30 p.m.
These vendors were returning from a mobile market in Lutuk Market in Koch Goma in Nwoya district.
The Gulu Main Market Vendor’s Association has a total of 31 registered vehicles that take mobile traders to various markets outside Gulu city.
However, due to strict rules set by the market authority, 11 vehicles have reportedly abandoned loading from within the market, leaving only 20 vehicles loading from within the market.
The market has a total of 4,000 registered members, of whom a total of 1,500 are mobile traders who move from place to place with merchandise for sale.
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