Trinidad – Police recruit dies in crash four days before birthday

(Trinidad Guardian)

PORT OF SPAIN –– Four days before his 22nd birthday, police recruit Njisane Hodge died instantly when his Isuzu D-max van crashed into a concrete wall about quarter-mile from his house. Hodge, who was about to take up duties as a police constable with the Trinidad Police Service, died from massive head and chest injuries. The accident occurred around 2 a.m. along Mandingo Road as Hodge headed to his friend’s house to assist with wedding preparations.

Njisane Hodge, who died instantly when his van crashed into  a concrete wall.
Njisane Hodge, who died instantly when his van crashed into
a concrete wall.

Police said Hodge was driving east when he lost control of the vehicle. It is uncertain whether he fell asleep or got a bad drive from an oncoming motorist. At the family’s Mandingo Road home yesterday, Hodge’s father Maurice struggled to come to terms with his death.

“My son was the most pleasant, kind, loving person you could ever find in this world,” Maurice said with his eyes downcast. He said Hodge left his job as an offshore operator and enrolled with the TTPS.

“He was very helpful and was on his way to help his friend Gabriel with his wedding reception when he died,” Maurice added. He said he did not know what time Hodge left the house.

“I was in Port of Spain and when I came in about 1:30 a.m. he was already out. About a quarter to five this morning we get the call that he was in an accident,” Maurice said.

Hodge’s body remained in the driver’s seat for several hours before it was removed and taken to the San Fernando Mortuary.

Maurice said Hodge was a very good driver and had been driving since he was 17.

“Only God knows how he crashed,” Maurice said as his friend Shaffi Mohammed consoled him. Hodge’s mother Beverly Fortune-Hodge and sister Zindze Hodge were too distraught to speak. Maurice said an autopsy was scheduled to be done on Wednesday. Police from the Barrackpore Station are continuing investigations. Hodge was one of two people who died in road accidents yesterday.

In the other incident, a pedestrian was knocked down and killed as he attempted to cross the Uriah Butler Highway in Chaguanas shortly after 6 a.m. The victim, who remained unidentified up to late yesterday, was crossing near to the Divali Nagar site when he was hit by a silver Nissan B15 heading south.

The victim, an East Indian male in his 40s, was wearing a purple shirt and three-quarter jeans. His body was taken to the Forensic Science Centre, St James. The driver of the car stopped to render assistance, was questioned by police and later released.

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