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7-year-old among victims, as minivan goes over cliff

7-year-old among victims, as minivan goes over cliff


Residents of Sandy Bay are breathing a collective sigh of relief, grateful that a vehicular accident that took place in the North Windward village last weekend was not a repeat of the Rock Gutter tragedy of 2015.

Around 8 p.m. on Saturday, eight Sandy Bay residents, including a seven-year-old, were hospitalized when a white minivan ran off the road and over a cliff at Sion Hill, Sandy Bay.

Recalling the events of Saturday’s accident, 48-year-old Carlos Baptiste told SEARCHLIGHT that he was in the minivan driven by Edwin Nero along with passengers Madestine Lavia-Baptiste (Carlos’ wife), Lisa Ballantyne and Selwyn Ballantyne, when it struck Idena Roberts, 53, her daughter Shenine Roberts, 25 and granddaughter 7-year-old Shania Roberts, who were standing by the roadside.{{more}}

The Sandy Bay man recalled that the five were making their way home from a funeral when he noticed the minivan had increased speed.

“I see some people was walking; three of them was there on the right side, so when I see the van hit the people them, now then I realize something was wrong,” Carlos recounted.

He said the van went over the cliff and overturned.

The last thing he remembers hearing before he lost consciousness was a shout from his wife.

Following this, Carlos recalled being awakened by his wife’s screams and said he kicked out two of the van’s windows and escaped; according to him, Selwyn did the same.

Carlos further recalled being guided to a house at a nearby river by his uncle, who appeared on the scene. From there, he was taken to the Georgetown Health Centre, Georgetown and then to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) in Kingstown.

He received a broken shoulder after falling on it during the incident.

When SEARCHLIGHT visited the MCMH yesterday, Carlos’ wife, Medestine, was unable to speak properly and complained of pains in her side and her head, which was badly bruised.

Idena Roberts told SEARCHLIGHT she could not recall anything after she was hit by the van,

“I know I passed the van and when I passed the van I don’t know what happened after,” she said.

Shania Roberts, up to press time, was still a patient at he MCMH and had visible bruises on her forehead. SEARCHLIGHT was informed that Edwin, Lisa, Selwyn and Shenine had been released from the hospital.

Police have not yet released information about the crash.

In January 2015, seven children from the North Windward village of Owia were killed when the minibus in which they were travelling to school ran off the road in an area called Rock Gutter. (AS)