Damaged Taxi Owner Cries For Payment

Jeff Darlington Cole whose taxi was reportedly damaged as a result of an accident he encountered with a government-owned vehicle is out of job and therefore, he is appealing for the payment of his damaged car.

The taxi cab some time ago was involved in an accident with a Nissan Jeep bearing plate number RL 705 is calling on the Government of Liberia to settle him by providing a new car him.

Mr. Cole walked into the offices of the Daily Observer recently with a complaint. He told this paper that on September 16, 2009 his Nissan Taxi with plate number of TX 8790 was involved in an accident with the Jeep belonging to the Republic of Liberia and used by former Bong County Superintendent, Rennie Jackson.

Mr. Jackson has since been appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as deputy minister of operations at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

According to Mr. Cole, police conducted an investigation in the accident and found out that the government-owned Jeep left its lane and rushed into the Taxi, damaging it beyond repair.

Police report provided by Mr. Cole on the matter indicates that the taxi was on its way from Gbarnga, Bong County, while the Jeep was from Bong Mines heading to Gbarnga.

‘James Gbendear, operator of the Jeep recklessly drove and misused his lane due to unsafe condition as a result of defective headlight,’ the report says.

‘In the interim, the Jeep collided with the Taxi, thus causing injuries to the occupants and damaging of the vehicle,’ the report noted further.

According to Mr. Cole, he has made every effort to reach the former Bong County Superintendent to see about settlement of his damaged vehicle, but all has failed.

‘Mr. Jackson promised that he would make way for me to get a new car in place of the first one that his driver damaged, but as often as I go there, he will be seen nowhere, and in fact receptionist at the Internal Affairs Ministry cannot even allow me to see him,’ Cole cried.

The discontented property owner lamented that it is the taxi he used to earn his income to support his children, but as the vehicle is no longer with him, he finds it difficult to get money and cope of today’s difficulties of life.

“I do not have money to take government to task, and it is not my desire to even take my government to task.  All I need is for the government to see reason to settle my car business since it is clearly established that the Jeep bearing RL 705 was wrong in the accident,’ he pleaded.

When Deputy Minister Rennie Jackson was contacted for his reaction, he said he was embarrassed by the “misfortune” facing Cole, but cannot do anything, because the car is not his personal property, but belongs to the Government of Liberia.

He said while he acknowledges that the vehicle assigned to him was wrong in the accident, it is the government that should settle with the owner of the damaged taxi.