MONROVIA — The Township of Caldwell on the Bushrod Island, outside Monrovia is becoming a hotspot for mob violence and increased lawlessness, as evidenced by the latest setting ablaze of a 12-tire MACK truck which was involved in a tragic accident that led to the death of a 38-year-old commercial motorcyclist.

The truck was reportedly overspeeding along with the Caldwell, Lajoy Road when a commercial motorcycle bumped into it, killing the driver instantly. The victim was identified as one Charles Rogers. He was 38 years old. The incident occurred during the late afternoon hours of Friday, November 12.

According to an eyewitness account, the victim allegedly came from buying drinks and overloaded his motorcycle with the crates when the incident occurred.

The victim was coming from Caldwell Junction en route to his destination when he reportedly ran into the over-speeding truck which was involved in the accident. “The motorbike boy was coming with speed, but it looks like the crates he was carrying were too heavy and it was weighing him, but the truck was on speed too and he (boy) ran into the truck” an eyewitness stated.

The unidentified driver of the truck escaped the scene for fear of being attacked by the sympathizers, friends, and other relatives of the victim. The driver’s action prompted scores of unknown persons, including motorcyclists to set ablaze the truck

Sources at the zone seven police station in Caldwell revealed that the driver is presently in police custody. The incident attracted hundreds of onlookers and bystanders-many of who couldn’t hold back their tears-after seeing blood which oozed from the head and other body parts of the victim flowing on the road.“Ah God…this is somebody nine months pain ohhhh”, an elderly woman stated while leaving the scene in a hurry.

Accident hub

The Caldwell road on Bushrod Island, outside Monrovia, appears to be a hub for accidents resulting in the deaths of scores of commercial motorcyclists and passengers. Drivers of various trucks either owned or being rented by various foreign sand mining and crushed rocks companies operating in the area are the ones most involved with these accidents.

The township is a major terrain for the sale of crushed rocks and sand, which are normally used for construction and other purposes. As a result of this, the road is most often busy, especially during the afternoon hours.

Early last week, another truck ran into a tricycle (kehkeh) around the Caldwell Junction area, injuring three persons who were abroad the kehkeh. The hand and leg of two of the victims reportedly got broken, while the driver of the tricycle experienced deep cuts on his head and face respectively. The victims are being admitted at the John F. Kenney Medical Center.

On August 24 of this year, a commercial motorcyclist carrying passenger Gabriel Johnson collided with a “camp motor” vehicle, that was making a ‘u-turn’ in the middle of the road. The victims were pronounced dead at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center shortly after the incident. The vehicle in question was impounded but later released by the police following the intervention of the insurance company, SUNU.

Burning trucks-normal routine

The latest incident of burning a truck that was involved in a tragic accident brings to two the number of times vehicles have been set ablaze by aggrieved citizens in less than six months. On Saturday, April 8 of this year, aggrieved residents of the Caldwell Township set ablaze a Mack truck after the driver instantly killed a 28-year old man in a tragic accident and ‘escaped’ the scene.

The victim was identified as Enoch Weah. He was a graduate of the Assembly of God Mission High School in the Borough of New Kru Town, outside Monrovia, and a resident of Caldwell. Eyewitnesses told FrontPageAfrica at the time that the victim disembarked from a tricycle that took him from the Caldwell Junction to Dixville junction and met his untimely demise while crossing the road. He was instantly smashed by the truck, leaving him with broken legs, waist, and hands.

Reasons for mob justice

Citizens have consistently attributed the growing wave of mob justice in the country to the delay by investigators of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to speedily investigate accident-related cases.

Residents of the township of Caldwell are on record of complaining about the overspeeding of trucks plying the route, without taking into consideration the speed breakers that have been placed on the road. They want the speed limit to be placed at every intersection to help curtail the overspeeding of trucks and other vehicles on Caldwell road.

According to the residents, unknown persons will continue to take the law into their hands if the government, through the LNP fails to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of its citizens are prioritized over the interest of foreign nationals or companies operating in Liberia.

“These are some of the things that can happen when the government continues to give credence or prioritize foreigners over her own people. You have companies operating here that are having or hiring trucks to do their works-but you care less about compelling these companies to make sure that pedestrians and others are also safe by even erecting additional speed breakers or to have crosswalks at major intersections”, Mr. Andrew Wallace stated.


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