The fatal accident occurred on November 10th at about 5:30am at Yaibos road Highway 14, along the Okuk Highway in Highlands.
It was alleged that a Kenworth semitrailer, owned by Pebesons Mini Trading Ltd in Southern Highlands Province, was reportedly travelling from Mt. Hagen, WHP, to Porgera loaded with goods for PJV.
Enga provincial police commander, Chief Superintendent Joseph T. Tondop, said the other vehicle, Isuzu dump truck, was travelling from Wabag towards Wapenamanda carrying 11 passengers.
“At a bend both vehicles collided head on, resulting in the driver of the dump truck getting trapped inside while three others died instantly," he stated in a statement.
“Eight were rushed to the hospital but unfortunately, four of them died on arrival due to multiple injuries.
“The other four are currently at Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Wabag Provincial Hospital with serious injuries.
“The driver of the semitrailer was rescued at the scene by defence force personnel and he is now under police custody for further interrogation.”
The deceased were identified as six from Yakuman tribe and two from Maini tribe of Wapenamanda District. One of them was a teacher and two were Grade Ten and Eight students respectively while other five were youths.
Enga PPC, Chief Superintendent Tondop, expressed his deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and relatives of the eight victims.
Tondop said the loss of eight young men in a road tragedy is a sad story for the families, relatives, tribesmen and community in Wapenamanda and Enga province as a whole.
He has appealed to the general public, especially commuters in the highlands, to exercise caution.
PPC Tondop wants parents to take charge of the students when they return home from school holidays as we are approaching Christmas and New Year.
“We are experiencing heavy downpour in some parts of the highlands region that will result in slippery roads and possible landslips along the highway,” warned Tondop.
“Drivers and passengers should take extra precaution to avoid traffic accidents during such festive periods.”
(The scene of the fatal road accident)