Tragedy struck in Abia on Tuesday as two women died in an auto crash involving the motorcade of Nkechi Ikpeazu, wife of Abia governor.
One of the dead women was identified as Promise Uche-Nwamkpa, wife of a former member of the Abia state house of assembly.
The second woman was Nwamaka Maduchukwu, a senior special assistant on media to Ikpeazu.
The accident occurred when the motorcade was returning to Umuahia from Ntigha-Uzor in Obingwa local government area of Abia, where Ikpeazu had attended a burial.
Witnesses said that the Hummer carrying the deceased somersaulted thrice when the driver attempted to overtake a vehicle at 5pm.
A female occupant of the vehicle, who escaped unhurt, told NAN that the driver was on high speed when the accident occurred.
“The driver was on high speed and everybody in the vehicle was asking him to slow down. Suddenly the bus started jumping up and down before it started somersaulting,” she said.
She said the vehicle somersaulted about three times and that she only found herself seated safely on a field by the road.
The middle-aged, fair-complexioned woman, who was wearing a dress designed for the burial, was full of praises to God, saying “I escaped death by His grace.”
The driver of the Hummer, Bright Ugwubujor, blamed the accident on brake failure.
Narrating the incident to NAN at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Ugwubujor said the accident occurred when he attempted to overtake a vehicle ahead of him.
“When I tried to overtake the vehicle, I noticed an oncoming vehicle and attempted to retreat but I encountered a bump on the road and when I tried to apply the brake it could not work,” he said.
“Immediately, the vehicle began to somersault.”
A medical doctor at the unit, where all the victims were brought for medical attention, confirmed to NAN the death of the two women.
He said that other occupants of the bus, including the driver, sustained bruises and minor injuries.
He said Promise Uche-Nwamkpa, was brought in dead to the hospital.
The second woman, Nwamaka Maduchukwu, gave up while doctors were battling to resuscitate her with the aid of an oxygen, he said
Maduchukwu was a widow and mother of four children.
She was also the chairperson, state information chapel of the Abia Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
John Emejor, chairman of NUJ in the state, who was at the hospital to sympathise with the victims, has expressed shock over the incident.
Also, the former lawmaker, Uche-Nwamkpa, who came to the hospital to identify the body of his wife, wept uncontrollably.
Her body was thereafter taken to the hospital morgue.
Meanwhile, members of Maduchukwu’s church and colleagues resorted to frantic prayers to revive her.
An aide to the governor’s wife, Chika Ojiegbe, said the office of the wife of the governor “will issue a release soon.”