By JANELLE DE SOUZA Tuesday, September 25 2012
FIREMEN from the Sangre Grande Fire Station were yesterday in tears on learning of the death of their colleague Kwesi Quashie who was killed instantly during the early morning hours yesterday after the car he was a passenger in crashed off the Churchill Roosevelt Highway and burst into flames near the Arouca Prisons sports grounds.
According to a police report, at about 1.15 am, 30-year-old fireman Quashie was sitting in the back seat of a black Nissan B14 which was proceeding west along the highway near Golden Grove Road, when another vehicle is alleged to have struck the car Quashie was in, from the rear.
The impact caused the car to spin out of control and eventually careen off the highway, crashing into a tree and then bursting into flames.
The car was driven by Quashie’s younger brother Kumi, who up to press time was warded at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope in a stable condition. Kumi sustained first and second degree burns to both legs and his right arm. Also in the vehicle, was the front seat passenger Keon Woodley, a cousin of both brothers. Keon walked away from the fiery crash unharmed.
When Newsday visited the Quashie home at Oropouche Road, Sangre Grande yesterday, Quashie’s sister Tanicca Quashie, said the three men were heading to Ariapita Avenue to lime when the accident occurred.
“Kumi said he just felt the impact of a car as it hit the back. The car never stopped. Their car spun, then tumbled, hit the median, then caught fire. When Kumi and Keon climbed out of the car, they thought Kwesi was still inside the vehicle because they didn’t see him anywhere.
“But he was not in the car. Kwesi was thrown out of the car. The boys could not say at what point during the accident, Kwesi was flung out of the car as everything happened so fast, it was all a blur,” Tanicca said.
She said her brother was stationed at the Sangre Grande Fire Station for the past five years. In addition, he also completed several Health, Safety and the Environment (HSE) courses locally and in Texas, USA. In fact, she said, Quashie was supposed to leave for Texas in a few weeks time for another HSE course.
“He was a very ambitious young man. He used to say that by age 33, he wanted to be a millionaire,” Tanicca said as she laughed sadly.
“Despite that, he was very quiet. They called him ‘secret agent’ because he would rarely even voice an opinion. But he was always willing to do things for his family and friends. It might not have been done right away but you know that eventually, Kwesi would get it done,” Quashie said.
Quashie’s mother CherylAnn Guy was inconsolable yesterday. She agreed with her daughter that he was, “quiet to the point of secretive”, but also was soft spoken and kind.
“He was everything you could ever want in a son. Everything you could want in a human being. Oh God, my boy dead and gone,” she cried.
Another family member said that was not the first tragedy to happen to the family in the past few months as Quashie’s uncle who suffered from diabetes, died on July 24.
“The family was now getting over that death and now we have been hit with this tragedy of Kwesi’s death. It is just a sad and trying time for the entire family,” the resident said. Up to late yesterday, the charred wreckage of the car remained on side of
the highway. Investigations are continuing.