July 10, 2003 20:28 PM
TAWAU, July 10 (Bernama) -- Sabah's Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, Datuk Dr Patawari Patawe, suffered serious injuries when the car he was travelling in crashed at km 21, Jalan Apas, near here, about 4am Thursday.
Patawari, 45, the State Legislative Assembly member for Merotai, fractured his ribs and right shoulder apart from suffering bleeding in his lungs.
One of his right fingers is broken, while his back is also injured.
Patawari's wife, Datin Kasmina Mana, 33, suffered cuts on her right leg. However, their daughter, Siti Nawar, 18, escaped unhurt.
Patawari has been admitted to Tawau Hospital where his condition is reported to be stable.
The driver of the Mercedez Benz car, Majid Amat, 30, suffered minor cuts on his head and hand.
Approached by reporters at the hospital, Majid said when the car reached a bend at km 21, it suddenly went out of control, skidded and overturned several times.
"It overturned several times before coming to a rest near a drain. I found Siti Nawar still seated in front and cushioned by the air bag but Datuk (Dr Patawari) and Datin (Kasmina) were not in the back seat," he said.
Majid said he crawled out of the car and found Dr Patawari and his wife, both of whom were stll conscious, lying near the road.
Dr Patawari was admitted to the hospital at about 5am.
Among those who visited him were Sabah Rural and Entrepreneur Development Minister, Datuk Nasir Tun Sakaran, and Youth and Sports Assistant Minister, Datuk Abdul Mannan Jakasa. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman has instructed the State Public Works Department to conduct a study on the causes of frequent accidents at the stretch.
He said he often heard about accidents along the stretch and some involved deaths.
"I hope a study can be done to identify the causes and find ways to prevent accidents," he told reporters after visiting Dr Patawari at the hospital.
State Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail and several assistant ministers also visited Dr Patawari.
Asked on Dr Patawari's condition, Musa said the medical officer told him that his condition was stable. "However, Dr Patawari and his wife have to be sent to Kuala Lumpur for further treatment," he said.
He said preparations are being made to airlift them to Kuala Lumpur on a Royal Malaysian Air Force plane at 8.30pm Thursday night.