Tue | Jun 18, 2019

11 hurt as lap-up taxi plunges into river

Published:Thursday | May 9, 2019 | 12:18 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer

Nine students were admitted to Percy Junor Hospital and two transferred to Kingston Public Hospital after a taxi in which they were travelling careered off the Grantham Bridge and plunged into the river below after colliding with another vehicle.

Some of the students had reportedly been sitting in each other’s laps.

The cab driver emerged unhurt.

Everton Walters, principal of Edwin Allen High in Frankfield, Clarendon, used the tragic crash to highlight the urgent need for a long-promised public transportation network for rural Jamaica.

“I have always voiced the opinion that rural parts need proper transportation for our students,” he said, pointing out that he has lobbied the Ministry of Education to ensure that his school be provided with designated buses for students.

“It is not right to have 12 persons in one car!” he said.

Walters urged that the Jamaica Urban Transit Company be co-opted into providing buses to transport students on the May Pen to Frankfield route.

Eyewitness Simone Smith blamed the speeding taxi driver for the crash.

“It was like a movie,” recounted Smith, who said she had been waiting for a taxi to transport her daughter to school.

Smith also criticised onlookers at the scene who were more interested in using their cell phone cameras to record the aftermath of the crash than help the injured students.

editorial@gleanerjm.com