Police in South Bali are warning community members against vigilantism after a driver lost control of a truck in the Padang Padang area on Wednesday and crashed into a house on the side of the road, killing a woman and baby.
Local residents are calling the driver careless, after police declared that the vehicle’s brakes failed. Residents are saying that the driver did not prepare his vehicle properly for the hilly road and that the load was too large.
The truck, loaded with mattresses, slid and smashed into the house on Jl. Labuan Sait on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula, which is a challenging route, characterized by its winding turns and steep grades.
Ni Wayan Aliani, 43, and her two-year-old niece, Dewi Hana Maharani were killed at the scene. They had just arrived at home and were still on their motorbike, parking it in front of the house when the truck hit, according to reports. Both of their bodies were taken to the morgue at Denpasar’s Sanglah Hospital.
Aliani had been taking care of Maharani, while the baby’s mother was at work in Seminyak. The father, however, apparently saw the whole horrific scene unfold.
Responding to fuming reactions from local residents, South Kuta Police Commissioner Wayan Latra told the surrounding community to be patient and to refrain from vigilantism so police can do their jobs.
“I am appealing to the public. It was an unforeseen accident. Please be patient and don’t do anything at your own appetence, meaning nothing anarchic,” Tribun Bali quoted Latra as saying.
The truck driver, I Komang Sukarma, 45, who had been coming all the way from Surabaya, East Java, is reportedly in intensive care at Sanglah Hospital.
The driver was not under the influence of alcohol, Latra said.
Stannie Laus, 24, an employee from the mattress company’s warehouse, was helping Sukarma and riding as a passenger. He has also been hospitalized following the accident.
Both Sukarma and Laus are reportedly conscious and have been diagnosed with mild head injuries, Sanglah Hospital spokesperson Dr. Kadek Nariyantha told reporters.
The story has been quickly spreading on Bali social media, with video footage and photos of Aliani wedged between the truck and her home, but Coconuts Bali will not be sharing those out of respect to the victim’s family.