Families of crash victims demand crackdown on road hogs
The families of 40-year-old Brenda Lee Rattigan and 42-year-old Allison Johnson, two teachers who died after being mowed down by motorists days apart in western Jamaica, are calling on the Government of Jamaica to establish stiffer penalties for reckless drivers.
Rattigan, who was employed as an infant teacher at Learn and Play Nursery and Pre-School in Reading, St James, died last Thursday, days after a hit-and-run in her community of Bickersteth. She was three months pregnant.
Her mother, Marcia Thorpe, who was still grieving on Monday at the family home in Copper, St James, lashed out against drivers guilty of speeding.
“The Government needs to remove these madmen from off the street, and them need fi make some stiffer laws fi deal wid them kinda driver yah,” Thorpe told The Gleaner.
“Them need to cut them speed and look where they are going. No road is not here fi anyone run and race like how they are running. Them need to stop it; they need to cut it out.”
The long-gestated amended Road Traffic Act has been passed, with tougher penalties, but is yet to take effect.
Reports are that about 9:30 a.m. last Tuesday, Rattigan left her four-year-old son, her common-law husband, and other relatives and set out to attend summer classes at her school.
While awaiting a taxi along the roadway, she was hit by a vehicle which crashed into a utility pole.
The driver fled and is still being sought.
Rattigan succumbed to her injuries last Thursday afternoon.
Johnson was pronounced dead at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital after she was struck by a motor vehicle in Whitehouse, Westmoreland, on Saturday afternoon.
Reports are that about 7 p.m., she had just left her father Edmund Johnson’s shop in Whitehouse Square.
The elder Johnson appealed for the authorities to clamp down on careless drivers.
“I believe that some of these drivers should go to jail for a long time, and their licences should be taken away,” the grieving father said of his schoolteacher daughter.