Two killed in Central accident
By RICHARDSON DHALAI Sunday, December 30 2012
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AS the Old Year comes to a close, two Chaguanas families have been plunged into mourning following a vehicular accident along the Solomon Hochoy Highway which claimed the lives of two persons.
The victims were identified as Hassim Ramjohn, 52, and Katemati Rampersad, 59.
Police said at approximately 10.30 pm on Friday, a blue Toyota Corolla driven by 59-year-old Jagdeo Rampersad, was proceeding along the north-bound lane of the Solomon Hochoy Highway, just after the Chase Village flyover, when another car hit Rampersad’s car from behind.
Jagdeo’s car spun out of control before crashing into some bushes at the side of the highway. The force of the impact, however, threw the front seat passenger, Ramjohn, out of the vehicle and into nearby bushes.
Police said Ramjohn’s left arm was severed in the accident and he died at the scene. The arm was found in bushes a short distance away.
Katemati, Rampersad’s wife of 38 years, was sitting directly behind Ramjohn and fire officers, who arrived within minutes of the accident, had to remove her from the vehicle using the Jaws of Life. Ramjohn’s wife, Clare Jewnath, was sitting in the back seat with Katemati. Both she and Katemati were taken out the vehicle and rushed to the Chaguanas Health Facility (CHF). Katemati was subsequently rushed by ambulance to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) Mt Hope, suffering from multiple injuries, whilst Jewnath was treated and discharged from the CHF. Katemati died at about 3 am yesterday.
Police have since detained the driver of an SUV to assist them in their investigations.
When Sunday Newsday visited the Rampersads’ residence at Boundary Street Extension, Felicity, yesterday, a still shaken Rampersad recalled that a group of five persons had earlier attended a birthday party at Petrotrin and were returning to their Boundary Street home when the accident occurred.
Recalling the incident, Jagdeo said, “About 50 feet after passing the Chase Village Flyover, it felt like somebody hit the back of the vehicle and the car started spinning toward a lamppost at the side of the highway. I tried to get the car away from hitting the lamppost and keep it from going into the centre of the highway, but it keep spinning and the car run off the road.”
Rampersad said police officers and fire officers arrived on the scene and assisted in getting him and the other passengers out of the vehicle and to the CHF.
A distraught Rampersad, who sat teary-eyed in a chair in the back porch of his home, called for strict measures to be put in place to deal with errant motorists.
Rampersad said, “Something has to be done to people like that. He can’t repay for the two lives that he took and the families he has displaced. No kinda of money can buy back those lives. That man eh lost nothing.”
Rampersad and his wife have two teenage children, ages 15 and 19.
Meanwhile, Neil Ramnarine, 40, remembered his step-father, Hassim Ramjohn, as the best father figure he could have had.
He said, “He was going to celebrate New Year’s Day today with the family. Hassim had already bought a duck and other food for a lime, but now we have to have a wake.”
Meanwhile, Senior Supt Deodath Dulalchan once again appealed to the motoring public to observe the traffic regulations, including the law against drinking alcohol and driving, saying that 2012 had witnessed too many fatalities on the nation’s roadways as a result of drunk driving. He said the police will be out in full force as the new year approaches.