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Couple dies in Valencia crash

By RALPH BANWARIE Monday, March 3 2014

A couple died early yesterday morning when their car collided with another vehicle along the Valencia stretch.

Zion Ato Albert, 28, and his common-law wife Davi Sukhdeo, 21, died instantly when they crashed into an electricity pole after colliding with a car driven by Kerio Pollidore, who was proceeding west along the roadway, at about 3.10 am.

Albert and Sukhdeo, of Wallen Valle, Guaico, Sangre Grande, were the parents of a two-year-old girl, Britiny, whose birthday they had celebrated on Saturday afternoon.

The couple’s bodies were pinned inside their Mitsubishi Lancer car. The impact of the crash caused the engine to dislodge and pitch on to the road. The car’s bumper and other parts littered the roadway.

Motorists who stopped were unable to help but called the police and reported the accident.

Pollidore and his passenger, Dane Ramnarine, were taken to Sangre Grande District Hospital where they were treated and discharged. The right side of Pollidore’s Nissan Wingroad was damaged.

ASP Aroon Ramkhelawan, Ag Insp Ken Lutchman, Sgt Johnson, Cpl Kelvin Kitsingh, PCs Manna, Sankar Khan, Francis and Maharaj responded to the report and on arrival the roadway was cordoned off, as they directed the traffic.

Fire officers, including acting FSO Clarke, FOs Kerr, Mitchell, Arindell Rique, Archiball and Jeromey, of the Sangre Grande Fire Service Station, arrived and removed the bodies which were examined by District Medical Officer Dr Mydinma. The bodies were taken to the mortuary of the Sangre Grande hospital for transfer to the Forensic Science Centre, St James, on Ash Wednesday.

Sukhdeo’s sister Devika said on Saturday the couple took their daughter out for her birthday and bought her toys and snacks. They returned home and the celebration continued until the couple left to go on a lime, promising to return a few hours later.

Devika said her sister was excited about going to J’ouvert and spoke about what they would wear, adding when she woke up at 1 am yesterday she did not see her sister and asked her mother if she had called. Her mother said no, and Devika tried to reach her sister on her cellphone but the calls went unanswered.

“At about 5 am, a police car pulled up by our house. We knew that something was wrong,” Devika said yesterday. The police officers informed the family about the accident and the death of the couple. Cpl Kitsingh of Valencia police is continuing inquiries. The deaths of Albert and Sukhdeo took the road fatality rate to 25.

Contacted yesterday, Arrive Alive president Sharon Inglefield again appealed for drivers to be safe especially over the rest of the Carnival.

“Let’s all take this accident as an example of what we really need to focus on which is responsible road safety. We are really appealing to all drivers, in particular, to please slow down and be well rested during this Carnival period as hard as it may be.”

Inglefield urged drivers to slow down, especially if they have passengers in their vehicle.

Noting there would have been many parties on Saturday night as the country prepares to usher in the Merry Monarch today and tomorrow, Inglefield said the organisers have a duty to ensure that no one leaves their parties drunk and ensure all their patrons reach home safely.

She reiterated Arrive Alive’s call to Government for the implementation of effective legislation to reduce the carnage on the nation’s roads.

On February 20, at a post-Cabinet news conference, National Security Minister Gary Griffith indicated amendments would soon be made to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act to permit police officers to use radar guns to detect drivers who break the speed limit and for such evidence to be admissible in court. Griffith said this would work hand in hand with the existing breathalyser legislation.

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