It’s always very hard losing a loved on, even harder when their deaths are caused by another man’s carelessness. Such is the grief the family of a 63-year-old grandmother, Elizabeth Toby-Lade, who was killed by a reckless driver, is going through.
The deceased, who sold water and drinks in her house in Fadeyi Street, Ikeja, was with her grandson and the child of another resident when a Sports Utility Vehicle, driven by one Samson Orofin, zoomed into the compound and crushed them.
Her 77-year-old husband, Joseph Toby-Lade told Punch he had yet to get over the shock because he witnessed the incident.
According to him, the gate to the compound was left open and Orofin initially drove into the compound in order to change direction. He added that instead of engaging the gear in the reverse, he engaged gear in drive.
“My wife sold drinks in our compound and her shop is located at the entrance. She was looking after our grandson and the son of one of our neighbours while I was at the balcony. There was heavy traffic on the street and because the main gate was open, the driver of a Toyota Land cruiser with plate number EPE960AC, drove in to a make a U-turn.
“Probably the driver put the gear in drive instead of reverse because immediately he accelerated, he rammed into my wife and she hit her head against the wall. The vehicle continued to move and it hit my grandson, Evans Toby-Lade, and a resident’s son, Usman, before ramming into one of the pillars of my house.
“I quickly rushed downstairs and we took them to Holy Trinity Hospital which is opposite my house. The kids were treated for head injuries, but the doctors told me that my wife was in critical condition, so she was referred to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.”
The septuagenarian, who was an engineer with Daily Times and Nigeria Printing and Minting Company, said he took his wife to LASUTH immediately.
“My wife was not breathing properly when we got to LASUTH. I asked the nurses to put her on oxygen but they said they did not have oxygen. I told them I was willing to buy and they said Holy Trinity Hospital should have provided the oxygen.
“Around 6pm, on May 21, 2013, my wife died.”
A copy of the death certificate indicated that Elizabeth died of “head injury and cardio pulmonary arrest.”
The deceased’s husband said he could not imagine life without his wife, adding that everything happened so suddenly.
“We were married for 47 years and we had six children and over 10 grand children. We were happy and we understood each other. We were always together because I have a business centre just beside her shop.
“My wife loved children and my grandchildren have been asking me where grandma is. It is just too sad.”
Sources said Elizabeth would be buried in Lagos on July 12.
The suspect was also said to have been arrested by the Ikeja Police Division, and the matter had been transferred to the traffic section of the police station for further investigation.
Confirming the incident, spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, said the suspect had been charged to court.
“The suspect has been charged to court for manslaughter,” she said.