Deadly accidents cause concern

Monday’s accident on the Millenium Highway that left several injured. (Photo by Bill Mortley) Right: Micoud accident that left two young men dead.

Three separate vehicular accidents have left three dead and several injured.  The first fatality was recorded on Sunday August 16.
The incident that led to the death of 34-year-old Boniface Noel occurred on August 12 in Carellie.  Police reports indicate that about 3:15pm the Morne du Don man was driving a pick-up van downhill in the direction of Carellie when the vehicle ran off the road and collided with a coconut tree. Noel was taken to the Victoria Hospital but he succumbed to his injuries on Sunday. A post mortem was scheduled for Tuesday August 16.
Two young men lost their lives on Monday August 15 following an accident on the Micoud Highway which occurred around 9am.
Police say that 30-year-old Ranny Cenac of Black Bay, Vieux Fort was driving a Toyota Mark II.  He was driving in the direction of Vieux-Fort when the car collided head-on with a truck driven by 58-year-old Urias Etienne of La Caye, Dennery.
The police report went on to indicate that the car in question was in the process of overtaking another vehicle when it collided with the truck which was travelling in the direction of Micoud. The truck driver escaped unhurt while Cenac, along with his passenger, 30-year-old, Wihlus Randolph of Ti-Rocher, Micoud, were pronounced dead on the scene by a medical doctor. A post mortem is scheduled to be performed shortly.
Later on Monday on the Millennium Highway, there was a three vehicle pile-up.  According to the Fire Service’s Lambert Charles, the vehicles involved were the Mobile Blood Bank coaster, a minibus heading southbound towards Cul-de-Sac and a pick-up truck.
Said Charles: “The pick-up truck and the mobile blood bank may have been travelling towards Castries.  The minibus collided with the blood bank which caused the blood bank to roll back and the pick up to run into the back of it.”
A total of twenty people were involved in the accident.  Eighteen were transported to the Victoria Hospital, twelve by ambulance and six by private vehicles.  All were released.
Speaking about the accidents on the Monday, Charles indicated that motorists need to be cognizant of their surroundings at all times.  He said, “When the roads are wet, obviously it poses a challenge to motorists because persons would have to note that the conditions of the roads when they are wet are not the same as when they are dry.  It is obviously going to be a little bit more difficult to maneuver on the roads.  For one, the action of water on the roads and the wheels of a vehicle cause what is called hydroplaning.  It means that there is always a film of water between the tire and the road.  So in some cases the vehicle would actually be riding on water.  That makes it difficult to maneuver depending on the situation.  Drivers are always advised to moderate their driving whenever the roads are wet. It is dangerous to drive on the road in these conditions.”
He went on to advise drivers to be aware of their tires.  He said, “If the vehicles tires are not in the best condition, meaning if the threads running on the underside of the tire which allows the water to pass through those threads and allow a little more contact with the road, it will be even more dangerous.”
Loaded vehicles face an additional challenge in wet conditions because of the weight of the vehicle and its cargo.
Meanwhile the National Council on Public Transportation has been speaking out on the crash involving one of its members.  NCOPT President Godfrey Ferdinand told the STAR that NCOPT has always encouraged its drivers to traverse their routes with due care and diligence but he admits their advice sometimes go unheeded.  He has once again called for minibus drivers to be cautious on the road, especially in rainy conditions.
He said, “When a minibus is involved in an accident, most likely more than one person can get injured and that could affect the premium on the insurance when minibus owners go to renew it and that is just one of the reasons they need to be careful on the road.”
Do increased premiums and safety get thrown on the back burner in favour of hustling for a few extra bucks?  We put the question to Ferdinand.
He said “I don’t believe that is the norm.  However you will get one or two individuals that will do that for the extra dollar but I always believe if you have systems in place or if the relevant authorities are working together than we can curb that.”
Ferdinand believes if the necessary resources are invested in the traffic department, such as more personnel and speed meters, road accidents can be minimized for all motorists.
He informed the STAR there are systems in place to discipline drivers who step out of line.  Reports can be made against bus drivers to the NCOPT.  Ferdinand
said though the council has gotten many verbal complaints, the public is hardly ever willing to submit a written complaint and follow due process to enable the relevant authorities to discipline or even disband delinquent members.

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