The number of road fatalities for the year continues to escalate, as another individual loses his life in unfortunate circumstances. On Saturday February 8, 2014, 25-year-old Omotayo ‘Tayo’ Morrison of Toronto, Canada lost his life after he was stuck by a motorcar. Also injured in the accident is his schoolmate, 24-year-old American citizen Maninder ‘Mani’ Kaur. Both are students of the Spartan Medical Sciences Institute in Hewanorra Orchard Vieux Fort.
On Monday the STAR spoke to a very calm but disheartened Percival McDonald who is the Consultant Administrator for the school.
“It is rather unfortunate that this has happened, the Spartan Medical School has been in Saint Lucia for the past 33 years and we have never had an experience like this before,” McDonald stated.
“Apparently on Saturday morning, some students were just going home, they were in a group coming from a party right here (at the school). On their way walking down by M&C Home Depot, a speeding vehicle came up and apparently went out of control; whether it was slippery I’m not sure but that’s what is being said. And so the vehicle spun and hit the wall, hitting the kids in the process”.
‘Tayo’ and ‘Mani’ were walking together, and I can assure you that they were not drunk. When ‘Tayo’ realized that the vehicle was approaching them, he pushed ‘Mani’ out the way and he was the one very badly injured,” the STAR was informed. “He was taken to the Saint Jude’s Hospital where he was stabilized but he only had a 50-50 chance of survival. He was then transported to Tapion Hospital where scans revealed that there was so much damage to the brain. The brain was really full with blood, and the concussion was so much that the brain shifted. Based on that, he expired on Sunday,” McDonald explained.
McDonald confirmed that the young lady suffered bruises and she had a neck problem, one of the cervical bones was broken.
“Dr. Dagbue, who is a surgical consultant at St. Jude’s, did an excellent job, stabilized her, and she is talking. Her parents came in Sunday afternoon and we met them on the airport. They went to the hospital, saw their daughter and they were quite pleased. She is not paralyzed; she is moving her hands and feet. We dropped them off at the airport Monday, as we made arrangements to have her visit the New Jersey Trauma Centre where they will just continue to monitor her situation. We anticipate that she will be alright in 3 months time, in 6 months she should be herself.”
McDonald described Tayo as a young man who was doing very well. “He was one of the top male students in the school. The parents came in Monday afternoon from Toronto and he was their only son.”
McDonald stated that unfortunately he had to break the bad news to the parents.
An autopsy is expected to be performed sometime this week and the parents will have to identify the body.
“We are working with the Police who, I must say have been very cooperative; we have contacted Dr. King who will do the autopsy and we are hoping to facilitate everything. The body is at the Rambally’s Funeral Parlour and we have arranged for a casket that the family will use to fly Tayo’s body home,” McDonald told the STAR.
The school was expected to host a memorial followed by a walk from the school to the accident spot yesterday.
Asked how the students were dealing with Tayo’s death; “It is bad. It has been difficult for them,” was the school official’s response.
“Tayo who was in his third (term) had been in Saint Lucia now for just over eight months. He was one of the promising students at Spartans.” Over the last few days the school, with the assistance of Dr. Swami, has been offering counselling to students and teachers. The school has remained closed up until today Wednesday.
The vehicle involved in the incident last Saturday night, was driven by a 26-year-old of La Ressource Vieux Fort. The Police are currently undergoing investigations as to the possible causes of this tragedy.