Soldiers helping to pull the motor bike off the road
A motorcycle display by both Military Policemen and Navy ratings turned bloody during last week’s pulling-out ceremony of former Chief of the Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie.
The Navy rating died soon after a head-on collision with a military policeman during a display of their manoeuvring skills along the ceremonial route at Burma Camp as a feature of the ceremony, leaving the other soldier in critical condition. Their display was the cynosure of many onlookers as they relished the spectacle.
Along the route from Burma Hall, all went well with both Navy Able Seamen and their colleagues from the other arms clutching their rifles at ease position, their Number One uniform, spotlessly white, bespeaking of the important occasion – the pulling out of the CDC, a career Navy officer, and the takeover of the position by former Chief of Air Staff, AVM Michael Samson-Oje, a dyed-in-the-wool pilot.
Rehearsals had taken place in consonance with military tradition so that nothing untoward happens. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, death occurred.
Soon after covering some distance from their starting points, the Navy rating banked to one side and as he sought to steady the motorbike, he crashed into the approaching bike mounted by his colleague Military Police rider.
The rating’s motorbike bore the traditional Navy blue colour as his military policeman spotted the infantry camouflage olive green.
There was sudden exclamation as the two military personnel crashed into each other within a twinkle of an eye.
Soldiers rushed to the scene as a couple of ambulances raced to the spot. The fallen was still breathing at the time but unfortunately, he could not hold on to life for too long as he succumbed to death, having been pronounced so at the 37 Military Hospital where he was rushed to.
In an age of smart phones, the spectacle was captured and soon got spread, with some charging the military of abandoning the fallen driver to his fate until death laid its icy hands on him.
This, the Director of the Ghana Armed Forces Public Relations Directorate, Col. Aggrey-Quarshie, disputed when he spoke to DAILY GUIDE yesterday. “It is not true that the Navy rating was abandoned. Soon after the accident at a time when the ceremony was ongoing, an ambulance was called and he was rushed to hospital for treatment. At the time the ambulance arrived he was still breathing.”
Continuing, he said, “we are unable at this stage to put out details of the deceased because as military protocol demands, members of his family must be duly informed before these are made public.”
Information also has it that one of the Navy ratings, a female, among those lining up the ceremonial route, also suffered some injuries following the motorbike crash.
Despite the occurrences, the ceremonial pulling-out event took place along the same street.
By A.R. Gomda & Solomon Ofori