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One dead, 32 hurt

One dead, 32 hurt

The driver of one of the vehicles involved in

this morning’s tragic accident at Eagle Hall, St

Michael, has been hospitalized, while the other

was this evening being questioned by police.

This after tragedy struck at the popular

junction this morning, claiming the life of a

Christ Church man and putting the lives of 32

others at risk.

It was just after 5:20 a.m. when two vehicles

–– a minibus driven by 37-year-old Kelvin Hall

and a Transport Board bus driven by Tyrone

King, 42, collided at the intersection, coming to

rest in the area just in front of the popular R.A.

Mapp’s Bar & Grocery.

Hall, of Airley Tenantry Road, Hinds Hill,

St Michael, was being interviewed by accident

investigators at the Black Rock Police Station,

while King remained hospitalized, along

with two other persons –– a woman and

another man. The extent of their injuries was

not released.

Sixty-two-year-old George Anthony

Blackman, a gardener of 7th Avenue, Harts Gap,

Christ Church, who was at the time, sitting

at the back of the minibus was thrown from

that vehicle.

His younger, visibly distraught sister Joyce,

who had earlier collapsed when she arrived at

the scene with Blackman’s twin sister Dorothy

and his niece, identified his body which, before

being moved by personnel from Two Son’s

Funeral Home, lay crumpled and disfigured

between the back of the minibus B55 and a

corner of the galvanized fence of R.A. Mapp’s.

Police public relations officer Inspector David

Welch told the media 15 serious patients were

transported to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by

ambulances.

“We had 17 transported to the [Branford

Taitt] Polyclinic in Black Rock, and we had one

dead at the scene. [Persons complained of]

injuries to the head, chest, abdominal and other

extremities. Those were from the very serious

cases. From the not so serious, we had reports

of abrasions and lacerations,” Welch said, as

he updated the media on developments as

they unfolded.

Blackman is the first person for the year to

have died on the nation’s roads. Last year, there

were 19 fatalities.

The police spokesman said he hoped the

numbers this year would be much fewer.

“We are asking persons, motorists especially,

to be cautious. Obey the rules of the road.

Don’t let another life be lost on our road,” he

pleaded, as Eagle Hall, a main artery to The City,

remained blocked for almost eight hours.

Scores of onlookers, including persons

on their way to school and work, as well as

those who live in the area, converged to catch

a glimpse of the body of the Christ Church

gardener, before the vehicles involved could be

removed.

It meant that for those early hours of the

morning businesses like the Rubis Gas Station,

the Hot Legendary Fish Cakes stall, and R.A.

Mapp’s were forced to remain closed until after

1 p.m. when the road reopened.

Inspector Welch explained that in a case

where there was a road fatality, officers needed

to be systematic as they went about gathering

their evidence.

“Our investigations will lead from here

to the courts of law; so we have to be

meticulous in what we do –– in terms of what

happened here today . . . . Obviously, there is

a concern for life and that was dealt with by

QEH and other medical personnel. After we

stood that down, we had the situation where

police started their own investigation, and

interviewed persons.

“Then, we had our reconstructionist come

in . . . . The final stage was to identify the body,”

he explained, noting that the entire process was

time-intensive.

Among the agencies responding to today’s

mass casualty were the Royal Barbados Police

Force, the Barbados Defence Force, the

Emergency Ambulance Service, the Barbados

Fire Service, the Roving Response Team, the

Department of Emergency Management and

three private ambulance companies.

ryangilkes@barbadostoday.bb

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