Mon | May 27, 2019

Ward recounts nearly being crushed by truck in MoBay crash

Published:Saturday | February 16, 2019 | 12:11 AM
Montego Bay businessman Howard Ward
A motorist drives past an overturned truck at the Queens Drive roundabout, metres away from the $17m welcome to Montego Bay sign. The original sign was destroyed in an auto crash last March.
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WESTERN BUREAU:

Montego Bay businessman Howard Ward missed being crushed to death on Monday morning when a truck careened across the median where the new ‘Welcome to Montego Bay’ sign has been erected, hitting his Suzuki Swift car.

Ward, who operates Ward’s Power Tools, suffered multiple broken ribs and a punctured lung and spent Monday and Tuesday in ICU at the Hospiten Hospital.

Reliving the nightmarish experience, the businessman told The Gleaner that he was on his way home from the gym at about 7:15 a.m. on Monday when he saw a dump truck heading towards Montego Bay.

“It seems as if when the truck approached the new speed bumps recently installed, and the driver hit the brakes, the truck went straight into the guard rails and careened. I am not sure if his brakes failed him. All I saw was when the truck went over the median, headed towards me, and hit my car while I was desperately trying to avoid it.”

Ward said that the impact caused his car to spin several times before the truck trapped him inside the vehicle.

“When I opened my eyes, the truck was on the other side from where I was trapped,” Ward said.

The businessman was rushed to the hospital by bystanders, who determined what facility he was to be taken to.

“I am happy to be alive, but even more profound is the fact that my gym bag, computer and bag, wallet and iPhone were all transferred to the vehicle I was travelling in to the hospital. Everything was intact. I say kudos to all the people who were there.”

They are the ones who instructed the driver to take him to Hospiten, he said, and it was great that they did. “I got immediate attention and nothing but the best care here (Hospiten),” he told The Gleaner from his hospital bed, where he added, “I am on the mend”.

One 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 that 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 [truck] 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,” Richards said on Monday.

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.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com