|Three friends meet fiery end |
By STACY MOORE Sunday, January 19 2014
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A FRIDAY night after-work lime ended tragically for three co-workers following a vehicular accident along the M2 Ring Road in Debe early Saturday morning.
The charred remains of the three were found inside a burning blue Daewoo vehicle.
After extinguishing the blaze, firefighters found the remains of Lauren Lochan, 24, Rick Nash and Reynold Manoo, 42 — all employees of Trinrico Steel & Wire Products Ltd (Trinrico).
The bodies of all three — Lochan and Nash, both of Reform Village near Gasparillo and Manoo of Williamsville, were burnt beyond recognition.
According to police reports, Nash was the driver of the vehicle while Lochan and Manoo were passengers. Police reports said that about 3 am yesterday morning, Nash was proceeding south along the M2 Ring Road, Debe when he crashed into a lamp post.
The vehicle then exploded into flames off the roadway. The co-workers had been employed as machine operators at Trinrico in Reform Village and had developed a close bond among themselves.
Their remains were yesterday identified by relatives at the San Fernando Mortuary.
Lochan, Nash and Manoo were last seen liming at a bar in Reform Village before leaving for Penal to visit a friend of Lochan. The accident occurred while they were returning home.
When Sunday Newsday visited the families, relatives were still in a state of shock.
At Cottage Village in Reform, Nash’s sister, Ann Marie Downey, said she was heartbroken by the news of her brother’s death. She said Nash was always a careful driver but believed that he (Nash) was drinking while liming.
“When the police came knocking on the door this morning, I thought that my brother had probably got in an accident and that the injuries were minor.
“I didn’t know that they would bring the news to me that my brother is dead. It is something I would never forget,”a tearful Downey said.
Downey said she had been staying at her brother’s
home since Christmas Day last year.
“I was suppose to leave this weekend. I did not know it would have been the last Christmas I would have spent with him,” she said.
Two years ago, Downey’s 17-year-old daughter Rhonda Lutchman passed away following a lung infection.
“It still hurts even now. And Nash had been with me all the way. I don’t know how I will cope with his death,”the distraught woman said. She called on drivers to refrain from drinking while driving.
Nearby, at Lochan’s home, relatives were seen comforting each other. Lochan lived with her mother, Chandanie Boodlal and her sister Michelle. Boodlal was able to identify her daughter at the San Fernando Mortuary by a gold tooth in her mouth.
Four years ago since the passing of her father (Ramoo) from cancer, Lochan had been the sole breadwinner in her family.
“Lauren (Lochan) worked so hard to take care of us ever since. She worked long shifts day and night at Trinrico and made sure we had everything and she loved doing it. She wanted to see me enroll in the University of the West Indies, “ said Michelle.
Last year Michelle completed examinations in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) at the Parvati Girls’ Hindu College.
“Lauren was the one who ensured that I attended every class at school and I never wanted to let her down,”she said. She attained a full certificate in the CAPE examination.
Michelle said she was not worried when she did not see her sister return home on Friday night as she knew she (Lochan) was out liming with her co-workers.
“It was something they always did so I was not worried. I still can’t believe she is gone. I feel her here with me,” she said.
Along Garth Road in Williamsville, Manoo’s brother Nigel Manoo said his brother had spoke of “changing his life”.
“He wanted to stop the liming and start going to church. But he never got the chance. It is just so sad he had to die in this way, no person should die in the manner my brother and his friends did,” he said.
Manoo was the seventh of nine children and also the father of a 13-year-old boy, Antonio.
“This is going to be so hard for us. We don’t know how to begin to cope. And Antonio keeps asking for his father. It is hard,” Nigel said. He said liming on a Friday evening after work was normal for his brother.
“He and his co-workers were very close. They were like a family and always together and it is how they died,” a tearful Nigel said.
He described his brother as a hardworking person. The remains of Manoo, Lochan and Nash have been sent to the Forensic Science Centre for further tests. Investigations are continuing.