The United States of America, has expressed grief over the death of Nigerian female combat pilot Tolulope Arotile.
The U.S Mission in Nigeria on Monday commiserated with the family.
“We hope her inspiring story, perseverance, and patriotism comfort all those who supported her dream of becoming Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot”, the tweet read.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) explained that Tolu was knocked down by a reversing car driven by her former classmate.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Ibikunle Daramola, gave the name of Arotile’s ex-classmate, who drove the vehicle that hit Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot as “Mr Nehemiah Adejoh”.
Arotile died from head injuries on Wednesday last week, when she was knocked down by a car driven by Adejoh at the Kaduna NAF base.
Giving a report of a preliminary investigation carried out, the NAF spokesperson said the late Arotile met three of her former schoolmates at the Air Force Secondary School now Air Force Comprehensive School, Kaduna, on the day of the incident.
Daramola said, “Mr Nehemiah Adejoh, Mr Igbekele Folorunsho and Mr Festus Gbayegun, drove past her in a Kia Sorento SUV, with registration number AZ 478 MKA. It is noteworthy that Messrs Adejoh, Folorunsho and Gbayegun are all civilians who live outside NAF Base Kaduna, but were on their way to visit one Mrs Chioma Ugwu, wife of Squadron Leader Chukwuemeka Ugwu, who lives at Ekagbo Quarters on the Base.
“Upon recognising their schoolmate, Arotile, after passing her, Mr Adejoh, who was driving, reversed the vehicle, ostensibly in an attempt to quickly meet up with the deceased, who was walking in the opposite direction. In the process, the vehicle struck Flying Officer Arotile from the rear, knocking her down with significant force and causing her to hit her head on the pavement.
“The vehicle then ran over parts of her body as it veered off the road beyond the kerb and onto the pavement, causing her further injuries.”
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