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Father: Alcohol, speed killed him

By Cecily Asson Sunday, June 17 2012

click on pic to zoom in
GRIEVING DAD: Vindra Persad grieves over the loss of his son, Jonathan (inset), who was killed in a five-vehicle accident in Gasparillo on Friday nigh...
GRIEVING DAD: Vindra Persad grieves over the loss of his son, Jonathan (inset), who was killed in a five-vehicle accident in Gasparillo on Friday nigh...

A grieving Freeport father yesterday blamed a mix of alcohol and speed for the tragic death of his 18-year-old son, who he said had already gained acceptance into a flying school in Canada to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot.

And as he celebrates Father’s Day today, contractor Vindra Persad, 49, said he is satisfied that his son, Jonathan Persad, in his short life, had fulfilled his purpose. He was a teenager who touched the lives of many, the senior Persad said.

Jonathan, of Persad Avenue, Calcutta #1, Freeport, was killed instantly on Friday night when the red Honda Civic SIR car he was driving along the northbound lane of the Solomon Hochoy Highway, Gasparillo, split in three after crossing the median and crashing into four other cars travelling on the southbound lane.

Several other persons were injured and rushed to the San Fernando General Hospital, where they were treated and subsequently discharged, police said.

Persad, an assistant supervisor with the family’s contracting firm, was returning to his Freeport home after an after-work lime with friends in south Trinidad.

Yesterday, the elder Persad could not hold back his tears as he spoke of the accident that claimed the life of his eldest son. He said it was a mere 15 minutes after speaking to Jonathan that the news reached relatives of his death.

“This has nothing to do with government, politics or barriers on the road, it is just delinquency,” a tearful Persad said.

“I am not blaming anybody. He was speeding and I am not denying the fact. He was doing about 180 to 200 kilometres. He was really overdoing it and I even understand that he was racing and had already overtaken the other car when he lost control of the car he was driving.”

He said he had bought the car for Jonathan.

“That is the most painful thing for a man to see his son lying on the side of the road dead, where you have to bury your son. That is not nice.”

A police report said at about 7.15 pm on Friday, Persad was heading north when upon reaching near the Gasparillo Flyover, he veered off the road. The vehicle crossed the median and slammed into four cars travelling along the southbound lane. Persad died on the spot. The accident caused a massive traffic pile-up on the highway, forcing drivers to use alternative routes.

The elder Persad told Sunday Newsday his son never consumed alcohol, but on Friday after work, on the urging of friends, indulged in drinking.

“I heard he drank vodka and beers. I called him and he said he was in south and was coming home now,” he said.

He said it was the alcohol and speed that led to his death.

“The rum in your head, he was racing another car and actually pass it when he lost control on the edge of the road. The car engine was on one side, another piece was in the bush and a piece was by the road.”

Persad added, “I’ll be happy tomorrow (Father’s Day) because I have given my father back his gift of my son. I’ll be okay. My son showed me what the heart of a father is.”

Jonathan leaves to mourn his mother Shanti Persad, 44, girlfriend Blossom Ramkhelewan and four siblings.

A post mortem is expected to be performed tomorrow. Ag Sgt Ramlogam of the St Margaret’s Police Station is investigating.

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