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Accident leaves boy, 9, dead, girl, 6, hospitalized

Accident leaves boy, 9, dead, girl, 6, hospitalized

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One pupil of the Lodge Village Government School was killed and another seriously injured yesterday during a minivan accident along the Lodge Village public road.

Dead is nine-year-old male passenger Kunja Browne, while six-year-old female pedestrian ‘Neeka’ Clifton remains hospitalized {{more}}at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

Reports are that minivan HN113, driven by Richard Bardoo of Redemption Sharpes, struck and ran over the six-year-old girl, who was on the road outside the Lodge Village Government School.

After striking the girl, the van swerved and the head of the nine-year-old boy, which was sticking out of the back left-hand window of the minivan, struck an electricity pole on the left side of the road.

The girl was rushed to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), while the dreadlocked boy died on the spot from the serious head injury inflicted when his head struck the pole.

Eyewitness Eddie John of Largo Heights said that just after 3 p.m., he was walking his daughter from school when he saw two minivans on the Lodge Village public road heading to Redemption Sharpes.

“I saw the two van racing coming and a car that was coming down the road stop. The first van pass and swerve, but the one behind hit the child and run over she; then he swerve and stop,” said John, who added that he did not know that somebody in the van had been injured, until he saw the other passengers scampering to get from inside the purple minivan.

“Somebody, I think is a conductor pick up the child in the road and run with she and carry she in a vehicle and take she hospital. I think she been dead and then people start to say that the boy in the van and he head mash up,” recalled John, who opined that if the vans had not been speeding the accident could have easily been avoided.

“I mean you know how van man does roll but this is a school area and them could slow down,” said the upset eyewitness. He indicated that his daughter was so traumatized by what she had seen that she asked to catch a van by herself for the first time ever, just to get away from the frightening scene.

John added also that he thinks the child who was struck outside of the vehicle did not see the oncoming minivans.

He said that the other children who were seated in the van, after seeing what had happened to their schoolmate, used the van’s windows and doors to escape from the vehicle.

Police quickly cordoned off the site of the crash and a few minutes later, the dead child’s father came to the area and attempted to view his son’s body, but was stopped by the police. The boy’s left arm hung outside the minivan’s back window, while someone had draped a piece of clothing over the rest of his body, hiding the gruesome reality of what had just taken place.

Visibly distraught, the boy’s father, whom bystanders called ‘Azzie’, threw himself on the ground, unable to control his grief, and was consoled by friends and relatives.

A few minutes after, he compounded the situation by attacking Bardoo, the driver of the minivan. Bardoo was struck several times before police broke up the melee and sent away other persons who also wanted to attack the visibly shaken driver.

The boy’s father, who is also from Redemption Sharpes, was eventually whisked away in a police jeep.

Police are investigating. (LC)

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