Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Friday | January 2, 2009
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New Year's crash - Three killed in St Bess accident
Neville Paul, Gleaner Writer

Black River, St Elizabeth

Tragedy struck on the first day of the new year, as three persons were killed in a road crash along the Brompton main road in St Elizabeth.

Two other persons were hospitalised as a result of the accident that occurred about 3:30 p.m. when the driver of a Mitsubishi Lancer lost control of the vehicle and slammed into the left side of a truck.

Those killed have been identified as the 25-year-old driver of the Lancer, Raj Caudwell, from Lewis Town; OJay Facey, and a man known as 'Balla', both of Goshen in the parish. The injured have been identified as Olivia Campbell of Goshen and Olivier Caudwell of Brompton.

Reports are that the Mitsubishi Lancer, carrying six persons, was travelling west towards Sandy Ground when on reaching Brompton Square, the driver of the car lost control. The vehicle swerved towards the right side of the road and ended up between the truck, which was travelling east towards Brompton, and a utility pole.

The three men died on the spot, while the injured were rushed to the Black River Hospital where two were admitted and a third unidentified person was released.


People who claimed to be eyewitnesses to the crash reported that speeding was the cause of the accident, which occurred near the Brompton Square. Personnel attached to the Black River Police Station, who visited the scene along with a medical team and citizens from the area, were unable to extricate the injured from the mangled wreckage for sometime.

The truck driver, Nicholas Hart, also of a St Elizabeth address, said he was taken by surprise when he saw the Lancer coming towards him. He said he was uncertain about how the car got between his truck and the utility pole.

The Black River Traffic Department is carrying out investigations.

The New Year's Day tragedy follows one of the deadliest road accidents in the nation's history, in which 14 people were killed when a market truck plunged into a ravine at Dam Bridge in the Rio Grande Valley of Portland on December 19.

The Government has pledged to handle funeral expenses for the victims of that accident, which saw more than 50 children losing at least one parent.

Last October, the National Road Safety Council launched its Save-300-Lives campaign, which was aimed at keeping road deaths under 300 in 2008 and beyond.

However, by December 21, at least 310 people had lost their lives on the nation's roads.

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