‘He saved our lives’
By LARA PICKFORD-GORDON Wednesday, September 5 2012
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SUPPORT: National Security Minister Jack Warner (centre) on Monday spoke to Able Bodied seaman Keith Francis at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Com...
IAN BROWN yesterday thanked God and the Defence Force truck driver for surviving the Charlotteville accident which left him with an injury to his head and a right arm that is broken in two places.
“I thank God that the driver pulled to left rather than on to the right because had he pulled the other way, everybody would be dead. I am praying to God that everybody recovers,” said Brown in an interview at the Surgical Ward, Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) Mt Hope yesterday.
The driver of the truck, Lance Corporal Nicholas Marcelle has been praised for preventing the truck which was proceeding on the Windward Main Road from Charlotteville, from careening off a precipice in an area known among Tobagonians as Bark Hill. At the time, he was transporting members of the TT Defence Force Ruby team who were in the sister-isle for a ruby game.
Brown, 23, is a civilian and member of the Rugby team. He works as a cook at a primary school in Cascade.
Describing what happened on Sunday, Brown who was sitting in the back of the truck said the truck was going “kind of fast.”
“If you on a normal road that is how you would normally drive but you don’t drive down a hill going like that. I think he (Marcelle) lost balance with the corners. While we were going down we saw a car coming up with some speed. Marcelle tried to apply brakes but lost control,” Brown said.
“Had he gone over to the right hand side, I don’t know...everybody would have been dead,”
Brown said as he thanked Marcelle for doing his best. He is feeling much better than when he was first taken to the hospital although there is still pain in the arm. Brown has lacerations on the right side of his face and his right eye is swollen shut. There is a bandage around his head.
Reflecting on the reason he is alive today, Brown links this to his family and mother being a “prayerful person.” He remembers that after the accident occurred, his coach told him: “Brown you know you have to stay alive. And I am like, ‘yes, I know. I will make it.’ I will survive.”
Twenty-three persons were injured — 17 soldiers, two sailors and four civilians. Quick work by the National Security Operations Centre, Tobago Emergency Management Agency, Fire Service and Scarborough Hospital, resulted in the injured being triaged and prepared for air evacuation or transported to the Scarborough General Hospital for priority care.
Up to yesterday, five persons were warded at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital including civilian Andell Francis who was at the Intensive Care Unit. At the EWMSC, two persons were still warded — a soldier and Brown. One soldier is at the ICU of Westshore Medical. A female Coast Guard sailor who was warded at the Scarborough Hospital has been discharged. She received stitches on the hip and right foot and had cosmetic surgery on her eyelid. Contrary to earlier reports, she did not have a fractured leg. According to a source, there was no issue of alcohol being a factor in the accident since Marcelle was on duty and the designated driver.
Civil Military Affairs Officer Major Al Alexander said the investigation into the accident is ongoing.