A tragic road accident that has killed two teenagers and seriously injured three others has once again underlined the dire consequences for children and their devastated parents left behind when unlicensed children are allowed to drive on Bali’s roads.
As variously reported by Nusa Bali, Bali Post and Radar Bali - the tragedy unfolded when two trucks used for carrying soil and sand crashed into each other in Buanagiri Village, Karangasem on Friday, April 19, 2013.
The two trucks were climbing a hill when the brakes on the heavily loaded lead truck failed, sending it backwards and striking the second empty truck. Hurled backwards by the collission, the back of the second truck struck five motorcycles carrying six junior high school (SMP) students from SMPN3 Bebandem who were returning form a school briefing prior to the national testing scheduled for the following Monday.
Two students were crushed to death by the truck while four others were sent to hospital with head injuries, abrasions and broken bones.
News reports are unclear on whether the students were wearing helmets at the time of the accident.
Dead on the scene was a 14-year-old girl Ni Nengah Sudiani (one report listed her age as 16), while a second male student I Wayan Sulatra (15) died while being transported to the Denpasar’s General Hospital. The boy was briefly treated at the Karangasem Hospital for head injuries and a broken leg before doctors decided he needed to be sent to Denpasar for more expert care.
Another two students, Wayan Putu Durita (15) and Wayan Putu Juta (15), also suffered broken bones and severe head injuries and have been warded at Denpasar’s Sanglah General Hospital.
Meanwhile, another two casualties from the accident, Ni Luh Yuniasih (15) and I Wayan Oka (15) suffered less serous fractures and abrasions and are under the care of the Karangasem General Hospital.
Interviewed by DenPost, Luh Yuniasih said the accident occurred at 11:30 am when she was traveling with five fellow junior high students, returning on motorcycles from a pre-test briefing at her school. She was riding tandem on a motorbike with Nengah Sudiani who died in the mishap. She has little recollection of the accident other than the noise of the collision and being struck by the truck.
According to police, the first truck, laden with sand, was driven by Fitalis Wendi Minanonin (43), originally from Kupang. Wendi’s brakes failed and his truck rolled backwards down the hill striking a second empty truck driven by Wayan Bakti (33) of Manggis that was sent backwards by the collission into the path of the group of six students traveling on five motorcycles.
The driver of the first truck, Wendi, suffered head injuries and broken bones in the accident that left him pinned inside the crushed cab of his truck for an extended period. He is being warded at Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar.
The second driver, Wayan Bekti, suffered minor injuries and emotional shock in the accident.
Police have identified the driver of the first truck Fitalis Wendi Minanonin as a criminal suspect in the crash and he is expected to be eventually charged in the accident and the deaths.
It is not clear if the surviving students will be cited for driving without a license or their parental guardians for allowing children to operate vehicles on public highways.
The minimum age for the issuance of a driving license in Indonesia is 17 year.
Related Articles and Editorials
[When Parents and Police Fail Bali's Children]
[Unlicensed to Kill]
[Children as Roadkill]
[Kids Behind the Wheel]
[Spare the Hot Rod; Save the Child]
[The Parent Trap]
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