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Deadly ride

Birthday celebration ends tragically

What started out as an evening of fun and relaxation for a group of young men from St Lucy and St Peter, ended in tragedy Sunday when the public service vehicle (PSV) in which they were travelling overturned at Mount Gay, St Lucy.

Family members say one of the victims was celebrating his birthday, so he and his friends had decided to take in a game of football in Checker Hall, St Lucy.

Today, blood stained walls and grass, a broken glass window, and discarded slippers told the horrible story of how Tre Sobers met his untimely death.

Monday, blood stained walls and grass, a broken glass window, and discarded slippers told the horrible story of how Tre Sobers met his untimely death.

However, their evening of enjoyment came to a crashing end Sunday night, as the accident claimed the life of 17-year-old Tre Sobers of Mount Gay.

His friends also did not escape unscathed, even though unlike Sobers, they have lived to tell the tale.

When Barbados TODAY visited Sobers’ home Monday morning, family members were simply too distraught to speak about the accident which occurred just a stone’s throw away from his home. However, blood stained walls and grass, a broken glass window, and discarded slippers told the horrible story of how he met his untimely death.

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Earlier this evening, the mother of one of the survivors spoke to Barbados TODAY after her son was released from hospital Monday afternoon.

She reported that her son was still heavily sedated and in much physical pain and discomfort, but from what he had been able to tell her, the group of friends was on their way back home after 9 p.m. when the accident occurred.

“My son said he was sitting behind the driver and all he remembered was the ZR [PSV] swerving and then trying his best to get out the van,” the mother said.

While extending sympathy to Sobers’ family, she told Barbados TODAY she was very thankful that her son was still alive.

“I think young people take life for granted. Sometimes it takes something as traumatic as this to cause them to take stock and I think this has done that for quite a few of these guys.

“My son is now off for three months from work, and it brings to mind that you have to be a little more careful,” she added.

Following the tragedy, President of the Barbados Road Safety Association Charmaine Roland-Bowen also expressed anger and disappointment over the latest loss of life, which occurred mere hours after she had told a road safety church service on Sunday morning that the island had only recorded eight road fatalities so far this year, compared to 21 last year.

“I feel really hurt. I feel really disheartened. I feel the parents’ pain. I sympathize with them and I offer them my condolences.”

Roland-Bowen also reiterated her call for stiffer penalties to be put in place to deter reckless driving on the country’s roads.

“I am so disappointed because this is something that could have been avoided. We need to put our foot down and do something about it. There is such a thing called corporate manslaughter, which is a law in England, where the owners of the [PSVs] vehicles are held accountable for any accidents and fatalities their vehicles are involved in.”

However, she complained that the authorities here were simply taking too long to make the necessary changes “and all the while innocent people are losing their lives.

“All we are doing now is talking and talking and people are getting killed. I feel something definitely needs to be done,” she stressed.

Meantime, the Chairman of Alliance for Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) Roy Raphael also renewed his call for the Ministry of Transport & Works to make GPS monitoring compulsory for all PSVs.

“At this stage we [AOPT] have a monitoring system going on now in four [PSVs]. It has been giving us vital information, because what would have happened, if the guy started to swerve from one side of the road to the next, an alert would have been sent to the command centre and to the owner immediately to let them know the vehicle was out of control. They would be able to shut down the vehicle immediately if they felt that the person was driving recklessly.

“So I renew my call for the Ministry of Transport & Works to make it a law that they should have GPS systems in their vehicles,” Raphael said.

Police investigations are continuing into the cause of Sunday’s accident.

davandrababb@barbadostoday.bb

9 Responses to Deadly ride

  1. Brien King
    Brien King November 22, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Roy Raphael are you mad ? Why would you want to shut down a vehicle by a GPS system if it detects a lost of control scenario, when the said system wouldn’t tell the controller WHY the vehicle went out of control in the first place. It isn’t every out of control scenario that is caused by reckless driving, imagine a driver encounter a out of control scenario and you remotely turn off the vehicle at that very same time, while the vehicle is STILL in motion, do you have any idea what you have just done? That vehicle thanks to your stupid action now becomes a form of rolling boulder towards some destruction or executions of some sort and all the driver can do now is watch helplessly from behind the driving wheel as matters unfold before them . Only those who are highly STUPID will follow that advice, IF you can call it that, Wow, how stupid can you get ??

    Reply
  2. Francis November 22, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Spot on Brian King!!
    Stupid and mad.

    Reply
  3. miche November 22, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Most of these PSV”S go out of control for one reason only…..IGNORANCE. Both on the part pf the driver,,and the passengers

    Reply
  4. Tony Webster November 22, 2016 at 8:34 am

    When my dad congratulated me on gaining my driver’s license, he handed me the keys, and said to me: “Tony, always remember that a vehicle is a lethal weapon.” In fact, he said that these words were, notably, uttered by a judge, who was presiding over a vehicle-related death case. Right here…in Barbados…in the time of Rocklyn Bus Company, and before the advent of ZR madness.

    Seventeen years torn from the belly of the family. No other vehicle involved. Must’ve been an evil puff of wind from Hell.

    Reply
  5. justsaying November 22, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Not that the gps system cant work you would have to wait until the vehicle come to a halt or moving on a straight before hitting the shut down button, dah some people

    Reply
  6. Mac November 22, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Brien King.
    Please try to understand what you read and post comments only on subjects you understand.

    A proper GPS system should monitor

    The speed at which the vehicle is traveling.
    The condition of the road and should include a Dash Cam.
    Persons monitoring the system would have all the information to make decision as when to take control of a vehicle.

    Reply
  7. Sue Donym November 22, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Apparently Mr Raphael has allowed his eagerness to seem technologically savvy to overtake all reason.

    This would have been an excellent opportunity to express condolences to the family of the deceased and to appeal for greater care on the road. Not all the facts are known, but a general call to observe the road traffic regulations and any information about what his organisation does in the area of driver training would also have helped their image.

    Ms Roland-Bowen might also examine to what extent the Licensing Authority falls short in the area of appropriate training for PSV operators.

    Reply
  8. jrsmith November 22, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Living between barbados and the (UK) and not comparing barbados to the UK .. but most accidents in barbados, the vehicles always turn over , whether single or multiple vehicles also the issue of loosing control .. always play that very important part….
    I am blaming the politicians most of the roads in barbados seems not to have any management at all , display of centre white lines markings, speed limits signs , go slow signs , road narrows signs…give way signs…. nothing is being done all you hearing is talk, talk……simple things which is enforced around the world is a very big head ache for our government…

    Reply
  9. Tony Waterman November 22, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    @jrsmith!!!! That is because they are all now Educated, and so, they have to think big.

    As a menber of Bristol Rangers Club back in the day, we had a Prayer we often said at out Meetings, and in a part of it , is said words to this effect.

    It is the little things in life that creates differences, (Road Lines etc)
    but in the big thing of life we are one (Speeding, reckless driving etc)

    I wish some of our Bureaucratic Negrocrats, were Members of Bristol Rangers Club.

    Reply

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