The tragedies happened at Catering school Junction and Okpokija Junction, respectively in Irete community in the Owerri West Local Government Area of the state between 4 and 4: 20 pm interval.
An eyewitness who gave his name simply as MC T-Boy, an indigene of the community told our correspondent at the scene of one of the auto crashes that a commercial hummer bus filled with passengers from Onitsha to Owerri was crushed by the incoming heavy duty truck conveying empty containers when it tried to overtake it on the expressway .
He said that the eighteen passengers on board, plus the the driver and the conductor reportedly died on the spot as the truck folded the bus.
According to the emotionally ridden eyewitness, as if the tragedy was not enough, another one occurred within a space of twenty minutes, this time, killing five persons on the spot, while several others were severely injured.
He said that the second auto accident was allegedly as a result of the carelessness of the bus driver who chose to take a one way drive instead of sticking to his own Lane.
According to the eyewitness "when the first crash occurred, there was heavily traffic jam. All motorists were held in the traffic gridlock as people rushed to rescue the accident victims. But instead of the bus driver to exercise Patience by waiting, he quickly took to a one way drive without looking. His bus was immediately crushed by an incoming truck leading to five persons dying on the spot ".
He said that it took the efforts of the indigenes of the community to come to the rescue of the few survivors by rushing them to the nearby hospitals for treatments.
Our correspondent learnt that the buses and the heavy duty trucks had been evacuated from the expressway, paving the way for free flow of traffic.