Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Battling for life! - Three siblings among 10 children injured in horrific Trelawny crash

Published:Saturday | February 18, 2017 | 12:00 AMJovan Johnson and Richard Morais
Police at the scene of the two-vehicle collision on the Martha Brae to Falmouth main road in Trelawny yesterday morning. 10 children were among the 13 persons injured.
Head of the Police Highway and Traffic Division Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen .
Superintendent Clive Blair, who heads the Trelawny Police.

Three siblings, including a pair of twins, are among the 10 children who remain hospitalised in serious condition, following yesterday's horrific two-vehicle collision on the Martha Brae to Falmouth main road in Trelawny. A total of 13 persons were injured.

About 8 o'clock yesterday morning, a Toyota Camry motorcar transporting the 10 children to their primary and infant schools - aged three to nine years - was travelling towards Falmouth along the Martha Brae main road when it collided with a Toyota Axio motorcar going in the opposite direction.

The Axio overturned after the impact. One of the drivers was trapped in the vehicle and had to be cut from the car by fire personnel using power equipment.

The 10 children reported injuries and were taken to the Falmouth General Hospital. Hours later, the police advised that nine of them were transferred to the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James, while one was transferred to the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew.

The pair of twins - a boy and a girl who are in grade two - are among those at Cornwall Regional. Their sister, who is in grade three, remains at the Falmouth General Hospital. All three, who attend the Falmouth All-Age School, suffered broken legs, with one having her teeth knocked out.




"Their father died last year so the mother is the only one with them. I spoke to her and she is distraught," Collin Campbell, principal of the school, told The Gleaner. "I called all my staff together, we have discussed the matter and we are willing to assist our students in whatever way we can. My three students belong to a single parent; they are going to need the help, both morally and financially."

Principal of the Falmouth Infant School, Mona Ennis, where three of the children are students, said the school community is deeply saddened.

"On Tuesday, one of our staff member's father was killed and now this has caused the school community to be saddened," said Ennis.




Head of the Police Highway and Traffic Division Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen said the two drivers involved in the accident were also transferred to the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

He stated that the collision occurred because the driver of the Toyota Axio failed to stay in his lane. The Toyota Camry, he said, is not registered as a public passenger vehicle.

Superintendent Clive Blair, who heads the Trelawny Police, said, "motorcars are not built to house 11 persons - five maximum - and it is telling something that is not good".

He said the police will be ramping up their efforts to help bring discipline on the roads in the parish where three road-related deaths have been recorded so far this year. Last year there were 17 deaths.

"We have to approach it with a zero-tolerance approach. Some of these accidents are just because of carelessness. The indiscipline is so high in terms of the usage of the road so we have to be ramping up our efforts to see how best it can be reduced," he told The Gleaner.

A proposed Road Traffic law, which will carry increased fines and penalties to replace the current law that's been in operation since 1938, is languishing before the Parliament. The National Road Safety Council (NRSC) has been pushing for the propose law to be approved.

In a Twitter post yesterday afternoon, Dr Lucien Jones, the NRSC vice president, said there were 39 deaths for 2017 so far, compared with 54 for the similar period last year. 377 people were killed in 2016.