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Man crashes Smokey and Bunty’s party

BY JOAN RAMPERSAD and RYAN HAMILTON-DAVIS Monday, March 31 2014

click on pic to zoom in
The scene outside Smoky and Bunty's after a car crashed into patrons and members of the Witco Desperadoes Steel Orchestra on Saturday night.  ...
The scene outside Smoky and Bunty's after a car crashed into patrons and members of the Witco Desperadoes Steel Orchestra on Saturday night. ...

A night of celebration almost ended in death when a car slammed into a group of patrons and members of ten times National Steelband Panorama champions, Witco Desperadoes.

The incident occurred just outside the popular Smokey and Bunty’s Bar located along the Western Main Road, St James, on Saturday. Ronaldo “Bunty” Munro and Lisa Mc Kenzie, wife of deceased Ricardo “Smokey” Mc Kenzie were there to celebrate their establishment’s 25th anniversary and, as usual, they brought the “Boys from the Hill” to help them celebrate.

But as the band was about to start their repertoire, what happened next shocked everyone present. About 8.20 pm the driver of a red Lancer hatchback bearing the licence plate PBB4605 got in to his car, started the engine and suddenly drove onto the pavement smashing into bystanders and steelpans. “Who didn’t make it out of the way in time got pitched away,” said one eyewitness who was standing a few feet away when the incident occurred. Three people were struck but one man, identified as Ronald Perez, was seriously injured. Perez, who was barely conscious when an ambulance arrived shortly after, was taken to the Port-of- Spain General Hospital. Mc Kenzie told Newsday yesterday that Perez was critical but stable. Within minutes of the crash, police officers arrived on the scene and hauled the driver of the car away to the nearby St James Police Station where he remained in custody up until yesterday.

Munro and Mc Kenzie lamented about the situation as pans were loaded on to trucks to be taken away. They were however thankful that no one lost their life and thanked off-duty police officer Sgt Elder, who was among the patrons, for containing the scene. Munro told Newsday, “We will still have the celebration, perhaps around Easter weekend but we will have to check with Despers to see if they are available. I am not changing them.” Spanish Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago José María Fernández López de Turiso who was there hoping to hear some sweet pan was also disappointed with what happened but congratulated Munro and Mc Kenzie on their anniversary.

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