Government car in driverless crash

A Government vehicle that crashed into an electricity pole in Savai’i on Tuesday brought new meaning to the concept of driverless cars.

The Toyota Hilux Double Cab belongs to the Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.).

The driver of the wayward vehicle allegedly parked it outside the Frankie’s Supermarket in Salelologa and went into the shop, according to an eyewitness, a taxi driver, who asked not to be identified by name.

"The car crossed the road from Frankie’s, making its way past the gas station and crashed into an electricity pole in front of Kalini's store,” he told the Samoa Observer. 

“The driver must've been in a rush [to go to the shop]. We were just waiting for passengers when I looked up and saw the truck moving towards the road.”

The taxi driver said they initially thought the driver had a heart attack and lost control of the vehicle.

"Lucky it wasn't busy at the time otherwise it would've been a disaster. We assumed that the driver might've had a heart attack or some other kind of illness, because of the way the car was moving. It's a good thing it crashed into an electricity pole and not into one of our cars or anyone walking on the road.”

The onlooker speculated that the vehicle was not parked properly or had its engine switched on at the time of the incident. 

"I think the driver didn't park the car well and didnt turn off the vehicle before he went inside the store and that's why the car came down the way it did,” he said. 

The witness said onlookers were shocked to find no one behind the wheel of the truck when they ran over to check for the driver and the passengers.

A video of the white Toyota Hilux Double Cab shows the driver arriving at the scene a few minutes after the crash. 

He looked shocked and worried and inspected the truck, while answering questions from curious members of the public. 

Comment has been sought from the management of the L.T.A. head office on Upolu.

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