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Fatal accident at Argyle mars New Year’s Eve

Fatal accident at Argyle mars New Year’s Eve

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Last week Thursday’s tragic road accident at Argyle, besides causing pain in several homes and communities, is causing many to express concern about the way some minivans are operated.{{more}}

The ‘Ole Year’s day’ tragedy on the Windward Highway, which saw 37-year-old Michelle Bernadette Pompey of Chili Village, Georgetown, and Romario Marson, 12, of Spring Village, dying on the spot, and the subsequent death of Sandy Bay native, 31-year-old Sonithie Ballantyne, has left a number of homes without siblings, a mother and a father.

The mini van, owned by Learcha Collis and driven at the time by Park Hill resident Michael Baynes, was fully loaded with passengers, including a ten month old baby, all of whom received injuries or worse.

The carnage on the new Argyle road was likened to that of a war zone by one person who came to the rescue of injured passengers shortly after the 18-seater Nissan Urvan H 5668 named ‘Big One’ overturned around nine in the morning.

According to the man who was travelling in another minivan, he saw persons running to the scene and was wondering what the commotion was about.

“When I look out, I see a lot of smoke coming from the van. I look down and see bodies on the ground and the van dey pon two ah dem.”

The man said that he, along with others, lifted the wrecked van and pulled out the injured persons, and assisted in getting the others, except for Pompey and Marson to the hospital.

At the hospital, Julian Lewis of Sandy Bay, one of the passengers who escaped with minor injuries, told Searchlight that he was seated in the back of the van when the accident occurred.

“I hear like something go ‘pop’, then the driver tried to get control of it.”

“Then when he pull back he hand, the van lift up and roll and then start to skate.”

“Before it stop, I see when the first person drop out. That was the first person dead. Then I get dizzy.”

Lewis said that he was able to exit the overturned vehicle through a broken back window. He was then taken to the hospital with others by a ‘Pastor Charles’.

Considering himself one of the lucky ones, Lewis said that he knew fellow Sandy Bay resident Ballantyne, and at the time did not think that his former schoolmate would have made it through the night, because of the extent of his injuries.

He was right.

The accident on the last day of the year brought the number of road fatalities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for 2009 to eleven.

Police are investigating the cause of the accident.

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