Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Speed killers - Drivers facing blame for collision which left four passengers dead

Published:Sunday | January 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMCorey Robinson
Kenute Hare, director of The Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport, inspects the two vehicles involved in a collision that left four persons dead Friday night.

Speeding and improper overtaking have been identified as the factors behind last Friday's two-vehicle collision on the Old Harbour Road in St Catherine, which left four persons dead and six nursing wounds.

"If we didn't have that improper overtaking we would not have been here today," said Kenute Hare, director of The Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport.

"You can see the recklessness of the drivers. This is a community, people live here, and the way in which these drivers operate, it's like people don't live here.

"It is clear that the drivers of these vehicles only cared about reaching their destination to pick up some more passengers. There is no indication of any reaction by any of the drivers on the road," added Hare, echoing fears of residents of the area known as Shanty Town in McCook's Pen.

 

RESIDENTS LIVING IN FEAR

 

The residents said they are worried that they will be mowed down by motorists who regularly speed by their homes.

"Something needs to be done about speeding on this road. Sometimes I am even afraid to take my children to the bus stop," said one female resident of Shanty Town.

She was supported by other residents, who noted that Friday night's incident brought to five the number of persons to lose their lives on the roads in the area since the start of the year, as another motorist died when his car ran off early last week.

In the meantime, the police had not released the names of the victims in the latest crash up to news time, but sources confirmed that a cop and a soldier were among those nursing serious injuries.

 

CONFIRMED DEATHS

 

The police, however, confirmed that three of the victims were female passengers travelling in the two vehicles, which were being operated as robot taxis, who died on the spot. A male passenger died at hospital.

A resident, Michelle Bailey-Hutchinson, said she had earlier decided against taking one of the taxis home from Old Harbour, and minutes later arrived to see the carnage not far from her yard.

"We went to KFC and I was telling my daughters that I'm not feeling the taxi driver tonight and that we are going to wait on a bus," Bailey-Hutchinson told our news team yesterday.

"So when I come here and see the man (driver), I was so upset with him. I asked him if him really leave Old Harbour come kill off the people them here so," she said.

... St Ann taxi driver dies in road mishap

Thirty-three-year-old Kenroy Clarke, a taxi operator of Orange Hill in Brown's Town, St Ann, died as a result of injuries he received during a motor vehicle crash on the North-South Highway last Friday.

Reports from the St Ann's Bay police are that about 11:30 p.m., Clarke was travelling north along the highway in a Toyota Fielder motor vehicle.

On reaching the vicinity of the overhead bridge in Steer Town, he allegedly lost control of the motor vehicle and crashed into a ditch.

The police were summoned and he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

corey.robinson@gleanerjm.com