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General News | Nov 21, 2004

Veep's driver manoeuvres to save lives

GNA

Paga, (U/E) Nov. 21, GNA - The sharp alertness and defensive skills of a driver in the convoy of Vice President Aliu Mahama averted what could have been a fatal accident that could have killed a cyclist who criss-crossed his vehicle in the middle of the convoy at Paga.

From the opposite side of the road, the 19-year-old cyclist, Kwabena Ayera, who was performing some acrobatic skills on his cycle, suddenly crossed the left lane from the Paga Police Station side, amidst the blaring of sirens and criss-crossed the vehicle in the middle of the convoy, which was moving in the right lane at around 11:00 hours on Saturday.

In the process, the vehicle hit Ayera's cycle. He was immediately removed from the road to safety and thereafter taken to the War Memorial Hospital at Navrongo.

Ayera, who escaped death but with a fractured right thigh, is in a stable condition, Dr. Patrick Atobrah of the hospital, told reporters later.

The Vice President's convoy, which was travelling from the Navrongo Central constituency, had slowed down just before initiating a turn to the right towards Navio, for a programme.

When journalists visited the Paga Police Station, the situation report said Ayera, who was from the opposite side of the road was hit by the vehicle when he suddenly crossed the middle of the convoy on the right lane.

The Police account confirmed that of eyewitnesses who spoke to the journalists.

Security sources said crossing a convoy was criminal and he could be prosecuted if it was proved that he did it on purpose.

However, Ayera, who initially told journalists, through an interpreter at his bedside, that he was hit in an attempt to cross the road from the Palace of the Paga Pio, where he went with his colleagues to welcome Former President J.J Rawlings, later said he was riding at the edge on the right lane when the vehicle hit him from behind.

Meanwhile, some officials in the Vice President's entourage have expressed their astonishment at reports that the cyclist was abandoned after the accident.

"Why would anybody like to twist the facts when the young man put the lives of all of us at risk but were saved by the professionalism of the driver?" one senior security officer asked.

After the accident, specific instructions were given to the local police and one dispatch rider to follow up and send him to the hospital because it was dangerous for security reasons to stop the convoy.

Additionally, Mr. George K. Dan-Yare, the District Chief Executive of Kassena-Nankana District and the Deputy Regional Police Commander, Samuel S. Wudah, were tasked to visit him and monitor his condition, he said.

Mr. Mahami Salifu, Upper East Regional Minister has also visited the patient.

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