Former Air Vice Marshal, driver, killed as vehicle plunges into Lagos Lagoon

Air Vice Marshal Olufunsho Martins (Inset- Scene of the recovery)
Air Vice Marshal Olufunsho Martins (Inset- Scene of the recovery)

The bodies of a retired Air Vice Marshal, Olufunsho Martins, and his driver have been recovered after the vehicle they were driving in plunged into the Lagos lagoon on Saturday.

The vehicle, a Ford Explorer SUV, fell into the lagoon after somersaulting on the Third Mainland bridge.

It was removed from the lagoon in the early hours of Sunday, with the bodies of the deceased.

Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and local divers lifted out the bodies from the lagoon, with both occupants dead.

Mr. Martins, who owned Martinos Events Centre and Hotel Suites in Agidingbi, Ikeja, was said to be going to his Funsho Martin’s Avenue, Park View Estate, when the vehicle collided with another, at about 10.55 p.m., Saturday.

He was identified using an identity card found inside the vehicle, after it was brought out. Both bodies were thereafter taken to the Nigerian Airforce hospital, Ikeja .

A worker with LASEMA said, “The accident happened around 11.15 p.m. at the University of Lagos Waterfront end of the bridge. The vehicle was discovered in less than one hour. But bringing out the bodies was difficult because they were badly mangled.”

The general manager of LASEMA, Adeshina Tiamiyu, confirmed the incident, adding that investigations were ongoing.

He said, “We received a distress call to our call centre around 11 p.m. and we dispatched our rescue team to the scene. After some time, we recovered the bodies of two men in the car. Their families were then contacted.”

The Lagos state police spokesman, Famous Cole, said officials of LASEMA took the wreckage of the car to Yaba Police station around 2 a.m. on Sunday.

He said, “We were informed that officials of LASEMA recovered his body and that of his driver around 2:30 a.m. Parts of the vehicle were compressed, indicating the impact of the collision.”

A family member of the deceased, Kenny Martins, who posted about the incident on Facebook, said, “So tragic; so sad. We lost my cousin, Air Vice-Marshal Olufunsho Martins, yesterday (Saturday) in a Third Mainland Bridge accident. May the good Lord grant repose to the soul of the departed and give succour to the bereaved. He giveth and He taketh. But Lord, why do the good ones leave so early?”

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