Tears and shock at Titchfield High School following tragic crash
Gareth Davis Snr, Gleaner Writer
The school community at Titchfield High School in Port Antonio, Portland is in shock and mourning following Monday’s fatal crash which claimed the life of a 13-year-old male student and the injury of others.
Pranjal Jasti was killed when a mini bus transporting 24 students and an adult woman overturned into a ravine after the driver failed to negotiate a corner at Black Hill in the parish.
Jasti was pronounced dead at the Annotto Bay Hospital where his father, who is a medical doctor, also works.
The ill-fated mini bus, which is licensed to carry 15 passengers, was a total wreck.
The driver and conductor remain hospitlised while the woman, whose arm was severely damaged during the crash, is said to be critical at hospital.
This morning, a trauma team from the Ministry of Education Region 2, headed by senior education officer, Patricia Salmon, was dispatched to the school to offer support, advice, and prayer to grieving students and teachers.
“It is a sad period for all of you,” Salmon told the grieving students of grade 8L.
“I know that all of you truly missed Pranjal. I am hearing some positive things about him, and as I said before, we can use those good behaviours. We can emulate them to become better students and we have been given another chance to become a productive member of our society. So let us begin to self examine and to do the right thing. This is not going to stop us,” she further said.
Earlier, Principal Richard Thompson expressed sadness at the tragic crash.
“Our information is that there were 20 of our students on a bus. We later learned that we lost one student. We spent last night trying to make contact with parents. We got through to some and we are trying to get information as it relates to injuries. We again started this morning to make contact with parents.
“This morning we had to call the school together. It is a very difficult situation. People are still in shock. People are angry at the transportation system.”