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The community of Barrouallie was thrown into a state of shock and disbelief on Thursday October 6, when at 2:15 p.m., a truck owned by Kelectric Co. Ltd. slammed into the Millenium Minimart at Glebe Hill, killing three persons.

Eyewitness Caswin Prince was traveling along the main road from Kingstown in a Suzuki Sidekick behind the truck. According to Prince, he could hear the truck driver trying to change gear when they got to Glebe Hill, on the outskirts of Barrouallie.{{more}}”When we get to Glebe Hill, we could hear the driver (try to) change (the gear), we hear a big knocking, it wasn’t changing. He keep trying. The truck still had brakes, but then when it turn the first corner, it start to pick up speed. We started to call to him, ‘Bank the truck, bank the truck’, but he could not hear us. When it turned the second corner, it pick up more speed. People were still shouting to him to bank the truck, but there were people and vehicles on both sides of the road. When he got to the cemetery, he opened the door and jumped out, straight into the lamp pole. The truck pass right by his foot, I think he dead.”

The truck then traveled down the hill knocking away a wall and slamming into the mini mart where Olive James, 70, Rosa Roberts, 76, and Carol Reece, 65, are said to have been outside relaxing. Reports are that they died on the spot. One body was pinned directly under the truck, one between the wall and the truck and the other inside the mini mart.

It took four hours to remove the victims’ bodies as the truck, heavily laden with Rabacca material had to be first pulled away with a crane. The crane was at first unsuccessful in its attempts, and a tractor had to be brought in to scoop the material from the truck’s tray to lighten it.

The driver of the truck, 35-year-old Antoine Ballantyne of Richland Park and Kimon Williams, an eight-year-old student, received serious injuries and were taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital by eyewitness, Caswin Prince and the driver of a red pickup owned by the Ministry of Agriculture. The two are still hospitalized.

The owner of the mini mart, Cindy Richardson, escaped unhurt, but she fainted in shock and was taken to the Barrouallie Health Centre.

Soon after the accident occurred, area representative, Louis Straker, along with Minister of Health and the Environment Dr. Douglas Slater, arrived on the scene. Both described the accident as unfortunate. “I share the same sentiments as most people will, a feeling of sadness for those who have suffered in this horrible accident,” said Slater.

Area representative Straker added, “such a horrible accident. It is very difficult to find the words to express the horror, the shock that you see when you come to view the accident here. It is very, very unfortunate. Our prayers and condolences have to go out to the community and the relatives and friends of those who have become victims of the accident. We grieve at the passing of these three people. And it just goes to show that in the midst of life, we are in death.”