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Basic school children hurt as bus crashes along Linstead bypass

Published:Friday | November 25, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer

COMMODORE, St Catherine:

SCORES OF persons converged at the Linstead Hospital yesterday morning, as news of a motor-vehicle crash along the Linstead bypass in an area near Commodore in St Catherine spread far and wide.

As doctors and nurses worked feverishly inside the accident and emergency department to treat the 14 basic school students who were rushed to the hospital, tears streamed from the faces of several outside. Among them were Washington and Ann-Marie Williams, parents of four-year-old Nashema Williams of Bronx Street Basic School, the most critical of the victims.

"I was at work about some minutes to 10 … when I get the call to hear that my daughter crash all the way round at the Linstead bypass … . The doctor just say to me a while ago, him don't know what to say because they are just trying. She in a critical condition. The only thing I would like to see is that God turn around my child because I am not in my right mind right now," the grief-stricken father told The Gleaner.

Amid tears and prayer, Karlene Samuels, principal at Bronx Street Basic, managed to explain to The Gleaner that a special event was scheduled to take place at the institution.

"Nashema was at the front of the bus because today we are supposed to be having a wedding and she is one of the bridesmaids. Because she is so dressed, she was in the front. The wedding is a part of the curriculum the class is doing, celebrating weddings, so they are supposed to be acting out a wedding today," Samuels said.

Nashema was transferred to the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew, while the others were treated and released.

According to the driver of the ill-fated minibus, 48-year-old Wayne Barrett of Buxton Town, Wakefield, who received injuries to his face and head, the bus crashed when he swerved to avoid another vehicle which almost hit the bus while overtaking. He was also treated and released.

rural@gleanerjm.com