By: Dawda Baldeh
Road accidents in The Gambia are regrettably common, often resulting in tragic incidents and the loss of loved ones.
This morning, a tragic incident unfolded involving a man, believed to be of European descent, and an SUV, resulting in a severe accident that left witnesses in a state of shock.
According to eyewitnesses, the man was riding a scooter towards Brusubi-Turntable when the SUV driver collided with him at Kasumai junction, leading to his tragic death.
Sulayman Badjie, who witnessed the unfortunate incident, is still in shock, as are many others who were present.
“A white man passed with high speed, and within seconds, he was hit by the driver. I saw the driver get off the car, but he couldn’t do anything while the white man was under the car. A lady, who descended a taxi at that very moment, ran the opposite direction and shouted continuously due to shock,” he explained.
Following this recent shocking incident, Badjie urges all road users to remain vigilant while using these highways.
Tragic road accidents have been consistently reported over the years, occurring almost weekly or biweekly. Many individuals have appealed to the government and road constructors to implement proper safety measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.
“I lost the appetite to eat because of this accident, which shocked me. It’s very difficult to witness such events because they are traumatizing. Drivers should be careful when driving because people cross at any time. The government should take action before this road claims more lives,” he urged.
Fear has risen among road users, particularly commuters, due to multiple accidents occurring on the busy Bertil Harding Highway, currently undergoing construction.
It is widely believed that most drivers on this road tend to exceed speed limits without considering the hazards that come with it.
Omar Jarju, another eyewitness, shares similar sentiments about the accident. However, Jarju believes the blame should not be placed solely on the driver or the victim but also on the road construction site for its failure to implement proper safety measures.
“I don’t blame the driver or his victim; I blame the road constructors who didn’t put proper safety measures in place. When constructing such highways, there should be proper safety measures so that both drivers and commuters will be safe. More than six people have been killed on this road within two months, and this is shocking,” he said.
According to statistics gathered from the police between 2011 and 2021, on average, approximately 121 individuals die yearly due to road traffic accidents in The Gambia.
Unfortunately, this situation worsened in 2021. In 2023, The Point Newspaper reported that there were a total of 1,218 incidents of road crashes, resulting in 155 fatalities and 440 serious injuries during the year of 2021 alone.