By Sailu Bah & Mustapha Jallow
It has been confirmed that five members of the Green Youth who were part of the president’s convoy in his recent visit to the countryside, died in a fatal car crash near the Sofanyama Bridge on Saturday, 1 November, 2014.
When the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) mortuary in Banjul was visited, scores of aggrieved family members were found standing there while others were trying to identify loved ones involved in the accident. Also present were members of government including Minister Bala Garba Jahumpa , APRC party sympathizers, members of the security forces, the Mayor of Banjul Abdoulie Bah, General Saul Badjie of the Gambia Armed Forces. Personnel of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) were initially sighted at the mortuary but were later replaced by soldiers in uniform.
According to a nurse, one Bakary Tanjang, said to be the deputy national youth mobiliser of the APRC, and Lamin Njie from Banjul who were among the victims died on Sunday morning at the hospital.
Another source indicated that 13 members of the Green Youth were involved in the fatal accident and that 5 of them were confirmed dead. The source further explained that the vehicle which was carrying the victims lost control and fell near the Sofanyama Bridge, thus throwing its passengers into different directions, with some falling on the ground and others hitting the iron railings of the bridge. The accident victims were later rushed to the EFS Teaching Hospital where those with injuries were admitted and those who died handed over to their relatives.
This is not the first time that members of the president’s entourage were involved in an accident as a similar car accident occurred during his tour of the country in July and that saw Minister Jahumpa evacuated for treatment abroad.
The five who died in the accident are Lamin Njie of Brusubi, Dawda Conteh of Bakau, Modou Lamin Sanyang of Serrekunda Crab Island, Lamin Touray (Tintin) of New Jeshwang and Bakary Tanja of Bundung.