The Dean, School of Basic Medical Sciences at the Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, Robert Nneli is dead.
He died in one of the two accidents recorded Thursday night at the notorious 131 Junction of the Abakaliki-Enugu Federal Highway.
Mr. Nneli, 69, joined the university in 2012 after spending close to 20 years at Abia State University, Uturu.
He was educated at St. Patrick’s Secondary School Emene in Enugu and the University of Calabar.
Stella Uchendu, Sector Commander of the FRSC in Ebonyi, confirmed the two accidents in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
She said both accidents occurred between 9 and 11 pm.
According to her, it was raining heavily when the accidents occurred and attributed the crash to possible reckless driving, over-speeding and poor visibility.
“In the first accident, the articulated vehicle’s driver blinded the driver of the white-coloured Toyota Camry with his headlamp, which made him lose control as he was at top speed,” she said.
“The vehicle then veered off its lane and collided with the oncoming articulated vehicle. The car was crushed by the truck.
“The professor died in the accident as his son and another occupant sustained serious injuries and are receiving treatment at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.”
According to Mrs. Uchendu, the second accident involved an SUV with five occupants which also crashed into stationary a vehicle due to over speeding and poor visibility.
“When we concluded our evacuation, the policemen on duty told us that they would tow the articulated vehicle off the road but they never did.
“The SUV apparently crashed into the articulated vehicle as all its five occupants died and their corpses evacuated to the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki,” she said.
She commended her officers for their prompt response to the crashes and urged motorists to always obey traffic regulations.
“Motorists should ensure when they are confronted with headlights from oncoming vehicles, they should reduce their speed and keep to their right side.
“Motorists should also avoid night travels, driving under the rain and ensure they obey road regulations to save lives,” she said.
A witness told the NAN the drivers of the Camry and the SUV were to blame for driving recklessly under the rain.
“The FRSC should increase its enlightenment of motorists especially on night journeys and driving under the rain, to check the incessant loss of lives on the road.
Ebonyi Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Jude Madu, absolved his men of any complicity by failing to tow the articulated vehicle.
He blamed the FRSC for failing in its duty.