Tue | May 26, 2020

Near miss for $17m MoBay sign

Published:Tuesday | February 12, 2019 | 12:00 AM


Just hours after being declared a national disgrace by Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips on Sunday night, the controversial $17-million ‘Welcome to Montego Bay’ sign came close to being damaged yesterday morning when a truck overturned and landed near the lawn surrounding the monument.

Before coming to a halt near the sign, which is located at the entrance to the Sangster International Airport, the truck struck two other vehicles, resulting in injuries to five persons.

Motorist Hardly Richards, who was travelling in his car ahead of the ill-fated truck, which was heading west towards Montego Bay about 7 a.m., said had the driver not swerved to avoid hitting his vehicle, the accident could have impacted more persons.

“A car hit the strip in the road, and the driver brake up suddenly. The truck driver had no choice but to swerve, or else him woulda mash up all of the vehicles in front of him,” said Richards.

Police personnel from the Freeport Traffic Department, as well as firefighters from the St James Fire Department, who were early on the scene, helped in transporting the injured persons to the hospital and in clearing the road of traffic.

Since the erection of the controversial Montego Bay sign, motorists have been about complaining about its height, saying it is blocking their view of traffic from the airport leading towards Queens Drive, which, they say, could result in accidents.

“Every time I see this monument, I see J$17 million worth of problems,” said one motorist. “When the previous sign was there, nobody had any problems because they could see clearly from all directions.”

Efforts to get information on the status of the injured persons proved futile.

The original sign was destroyed in an auto crash last March.