Angry residents protest

Peaceful protest: Sea Lots residents walk along Pioneer Drive yesterday on their way to the Port of Spain General Hospital in a show of solidarity for the three residents who survived Sunday’s accident which claimed the lives of a mother and her two daughters. (Photo by JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK)
Peaceful protest: Sea Lots residents walk along Pioneer Drive yesterday on their way to the Port of Spain General Hospital in a show of solidarity for the three residents who survived Sunday’s accident which claimed the lives of a mother and her two daughters. (Photo by JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK)

PORT OF SPAIN — Sea Lots, Port of Spain residents walked peacefully from their neighbourhood to the Port of Spain General Hospital yesterday afternoon in a show of solidarity for the three residents who survived last Sunday’s accident which claimed the lives of a mother and her two daughters.

Residents said they have also sought advice from attorneys on what to do about “neglect” from past administrations which, they believe led to the deaths of the three residents last week and many more over the years.

The survivors are, Amanda Lalla, alias “Roti-woman”, Abbigail Assing and Ryan Rampersad who were all struck by a car driven by an off-duty police constable on the morning of February 24 as he headed west along the Beetham Highway.

When the Sea Lots residents arrived at the hospital they visited Assing at her bedside. Assing said she was still “in pain” but she felt “great” about their visit. Lalla and Rampersad remain at the Intensive Care Unit where only close family members are being allowed to visit.

On February 24, the off-duty policeman lost control of his Toyota Corolla vehicle and ploughed into six people, killing three on the spot.

Those killed were Haydee Paul, 28, and her two daughters, Shakira and Akasha.

Kenroy Dopwell, who since the tragedy has become the de facto spokesperson for the Sea Lots community, said that the idea behind yesterday’s walk to the hospital was that the community had buried their dead last Thursday, “now we need to see about the living”.

He said that the Wednesday after the accident (February 27) there were traffic wardens and police in place at peak hours to get the children of the area and their elderly safely across the Beetham Highway on mornings and afternoons. He said however that by Friday, the number of traffic wardens had whittled down to two and by Saturday there were none.

He said that the accident occurred on the weekend when that traffic wardens would be needed the most.

Dopwell continued: “Over the years administrations continue to give promises and nothing comes out of it and hence the reason for the loss of life over a period of time. Right now, we are going along with what they (the government) stated and they asked for time to do their investigations (into the construction of a walkover) and we are a humble and polite people.” (Express)

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