|3 DIE IN ROAD ACCIDENTS |
By Cecily Asson Sunday, February 23 2014
FOUR days after escaping unhurt in a vehicular accident which claimed the life of soldier, Pvt Junior La Barrie, final year student at Metal Industries Company (MIC) Keshav Ragoo, 20, met a fiery death when the car in which he was a passenger caught fire. Ragoo of Ramdass Trace, La Quesa, Freeport was burnt beyond recognition.
Also perishing in the blaze in the early hours of yesterday morning was his close friend, Sheldon Ramdial, 25, a businessman of Tewarie Circular Drive South, Arena, Freeport. The two were just about five minutes away from their homes when tragedy struck.
Driver of the vehicle, Steffon Madho, suffered severe burns to 60 percent of his body and remains in serious condition at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope.
According to a police report, at about 12.05 am yesterday, the three good friends were heading south along the Solomon Hochoy Highway near the Freeport Flyover when upon attempting to enter Freeport, the car driven by Madho, veered off the road and flipped several times before landing on the passenger side in the drain and burst into flames. The men were pinned inside the vehicle. Firefighters were only able to save Madho.
Madho, police said, was able to tell police officers the identity of his passengers .
In an unrelated incident, two hours later, Richard Boyce, 39, of Chaguanas, also lost his life in a vehicular accident in San Fernando. His wife Vidya Boyce, 38, is warded in serious condition at the San Fernando General Hospital.
A police report stated that at about 2.30 am, Boyce was driving his vehicle along the Solomon Hochoy Highway near the San Fernando Campus of UTT when the vehicle ran off the road and crashed into a light pole. He died on impact.
Yesterday, when Sunday Newsday visited the homes of Ramdial and Ragoo, close relatives and friends were struggling to come to terms with the deaths of the both men. Ramdial is engaged to Samantha Ding Chong, 25. The couple were planning to get married next year May.
Ragoo was set to take over his father’s construction firm, relatives told Sunday Newsday.
Both Ramdial and Ragoo were the only sons for their parents and had two sisters each.
Parents Sam and Vashti Ramdial, and Nandlal and Tara Ragoo, were too distraught to speak with the media yesterday.
Cindy Ramdial told Sunday Newsday her brother who ran his own business, a ceiling company, was looking forward to celebrating the birthday of his niece Justine Teemul, who turned one yesterday.
“He was close to her and had planned an outing to the zoo, among other things for her birthday,” Cindy said.
“Around 2 am (yesterday), we got a call telling us what happened.”
Speaking on behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Brent Batson made another appeal for the motoring public to practice safe and responsible road use.
He said: “The way people are driving, it seems as though they have a death wish in this season of no holds barred. When you look at the time of the accidents, in the accident in San Fernando (Tarouba) from the damage of the vehicle, speed was a major factor.”
Batson said all police could do is continue to conduct breathalyser exercises while they await legislation for the introduction of speed guns which will assist in speed enforcement.
“In the meantime citizens must wake up and know that a vehicle is a weapon they operate and it will either kill them or kill other people.” Snr Supt Johnny Abraham also issued a call to motorists not to drink and drive.
He asked: “How many times can we talk to people on the road. I am warning people not to drink and drive.”Post-mortems are expected to be performed on the bodies tomorrow.
Investigations are continuing.