Five police recruits were critically injured and 13 others sustained various degrees of injury when a BMW 5-series car with registration number GW 5601 P, being driven by a 30-year-old lecturer of a private university, Joseph Osei Darkwah, rammed into them.
The police recruits were on a routine keep-fit exercise at Koforidua, near Linda Dor Restaurant yesterday at about 5.30am, when the incident occurred.
Earlier reports by some radio stations when the incident happened said five of the recruits had died as a result of the accident, but it turned out to be untrue.
The five recruits who were critically injured were identified as Kennedy Oppong, 27; Kissenger Kofi Atta, 24; Abugine Alidu, 25; Titus Noah Diesaaye, 25 and Isaac Dwamena.
Four of them had been referred to the Police Hospital in Accra for further medical attention after initially being rushed to the regional hospital in Koforidua.
The regional hospital in the early morning was a beehive of activities as several policemen from the Police Training School and the regional police command, as well as sympathizers, rushed to the place. The doctors were kept very busy, stitching serious wounds, mostly in the heads and stomachs of the injured persons.
The young lecturer, who was said to be speeding, ignored signs from the police physical education instructors wearing reflectors and leading the recruits, and negligently rammed into them.
The regional minister, Victor Smith, also visited the victims and asked the driver to be brought to the hospital to see the ‘havoc’ he had caused.
The lecturer was provisionally charged with careless and inconsiderate driving and negligently causing harm, before being sentÂ to the court yesterday.
He was however remanded into prison custody to appear again on July 4.
The Eastern Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kwabena Gyamera-Yeboah, commended health professionals at the regional hospital for the prompt manner in which they attended to the seriously injured persons, thereby saving their lives.
The regional MTTU commander, Chief Superintendent James Sarfo-Peprah, who was also at the hospital, expressed concern about the way the â€˜eyewitnessâ€™ reports were carried on radio stations and said the stations must always cross-check their facts from the right sources when such news get to them.
He also advised drivers to strictly observe the stipulated speed limits in the towns and cities, saying that drivers must drive at 50km/h when they are driving in town and 30km/h when driving in the cities.
From Thomas Fosu Jnr, Koforidua