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Woman on way to NDP rally loses lower leg

Woman on way to NDP rally loses lower leg


by Ari Shaw

Sandy Bay resident Shirley Baptiste is lucky to be alive after her right leg was crushed by a truck at Gordon Yard last Saturday.

Baptiste was among a group of persons making their way from North Windward to the New Democratic Party (NDP) political{{more}} meeting in Chateaubelair, when the vehicle, TQ406, in which they were travelling, overturned in the Gordon Yard area of North Leeward, sometime between 5 and 6 p.m.

Another occupant of the truck told SEARCHLIGHT that at the time of the accident, Baptiste was positioned directly behind the cab at the back of the truck.

When SEARCHLIGHT visited Baptiste yesterday on the female surgical ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, the 32-year-old disclosed that the bones in her right leg were so badly crushed that her lower leg had to be amputated. She also complained of back pains and injuries to her arm.

Still traumatized by the incident, Baptiste said she could not recall what happened immediately before the truck overturned on to her leg.

“I tried moving my foot and I noticed it wasn’t moving,” she said.

In obvious pain, Baptiste said she was pulled from beneath the vehicle by a group of men who pried the vehicle off her, using a stick as a lever.

The mother of three was then rushed to the MCMH by a passing vehicle.

Baptiste said that although she is still experiencing pain in her leg, she does not see the loss of the limb as directly affecting her everyday life.

Her 15-year-old daughter Camisha Baptiste, who was also on the truck when it overturned, was admitted to the hospital and discharged the same day.

Joseph John, Baptiste’s boyfriend, told SEARCHLIGHT that he was in Bequia at the time of the accident. He said he received a telephone call from Baptiste’s daughter about 5:50 p.m., informing him of her mother’s condition and what had transpired.

Filled with utter disbelief, the 35-year-old mason and carpenter rushed to the mainland Sunday morning.

“As I come up, I come straight to the hospital” he said.

“As soon as I see her, I start to cry…”

John, however, said Baptiste seems to be responding well to the treatment she is receiving, but is in need of blood because of the vast amount she lost on Saturday.

Fifty-four-year-old Ruby Baptiste, also of Sandy Bay, who was also involved in the accident, said she received an injury to her head.

Ruby said the truck was not speeding and took the deep corners well, prior to the accident; but things suddenly took a turn for the worse.

“Me feel when the truck tremble” she said, following which the vehicle turned the corner and collided with the bank above the road.

She added that everyone fell off the truck and was struggling to get up.

Amidst the chaos, during which everyone was crying, she said they realized that the truck was resting on Shirley’s leg.

Up to press time, the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force had not released a report on the accident.