Sat, 27 Mar 1999

Reckless driving claims 12 lives

JAMBI: Reckless driving cost 12 lives and seriously injured 12 others in two separate traffic accidents in the Sumatra town of Kerinci and the Central Sulawesi town of Poso on Thursday.

In Kerinci, some 500 kilometers west of Jambi, 10people were killed when a pickup truck loaded with passengers crashed into a school building after its brakes failed. Three other passengers were seriously injured, while the remaining 12 suffered minor wounds and were discharged from the hospital.

Jambi Police chief Col. Maman Lukman told Antara that the driver, Eva Kananda, a woman, was driving at high speed when she discovered the vehicle's brakes were not functioning. She fled the accident scene before police arrived.

Also on Thursday, two people died and another nine were injured when a public bus turned over on a section of the Trans- Sulawesi highway in Sausu village, some 135 kilometers southeast of the Central Sulawesi capital of Palu.

One of the casualties, Rusmiati, 14, was killed immediately, while Hakim died two hours after being admitted to the nearby community health center.

Two of the survivors, including a four-year-old boy, were rushed to the Parigi hospital in Donggala with serious injuries.

The bus was on its way to Palu from Ujungpandang in South Sulawesi. One of the passengers, Abdul Wahid, said the driver lost control of the speeding bus on a sharp turn.