January 10,2014, 01:43 -Post Courier,
THE identity of the driver involved in the fatal accident that claimed the life of a 14 year old boy and critically injured another has being revealed by disgruntled police officers.
The officers, who all are junior officers and wish to remain anonymous to avoid official discipline, revealed the man alleged to be the driver is in his mid 40s and from Butibam village, Lae District. He is said to be a senior member of a political party.
Police said the vehicle was travelling along 7th Street towards Chinatown, coming from Top Town when it veered to the right, ran off the side of the on-coming traffic then travelled some 20 metres before hitting the boys who were walking towards town, near the Huonville Primary School gates.
The officers, some of whom were at the scene of the accident, alleged that the man was drunk and was arrested at the scene but was never locked up in the police cell.
Amos Raka, 14 years of age was severely injured and died some hours later at the accident and emergency unit at Angau Memorial General Hospital.
His friend, also the same age, of Morobe and Eastern Highlands parentage, is in a critical condition at the hospital.
A post mortem revealed that Raka sustained massive and severe head and chest injuries, and died from heavy internal bleeding to the brain and chest.
The officers say they are angry that this senior political member is receiving protection from their superiors including Metropolitan Commander Iven Lakatani by withholding information.
The incident has angered Lae city residents, with many claiming Mr Lakatani’s explanation at a press conference recently was way off the mark and clearly out of fear for his position.
Mr Lakatani told the media that investigations are continuing but the vehicle involved in the accident has been returned to the driver.
Investigation officers are also making life hard for the victims’ families by demanding payments up front to carry out their normal police duties.
“This is a clear indication of the leadership demonstrated by police hierarchy in Lae,” one officer said.