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Driver lucky after truck crashes, knocks out power lines

Driver lucky  after truck crashes, knocks out power lines


by Ari Shaw

Truck Driver Bertram Browne is both relieved and grateful that the sidewalk of the Road to Leeward at Montrose, which is usually frequented by children, was vacant on Tuesday, when he lost control of his vehicle.

The vehicle, TN818, a Volvo truck, was travelling towards Kingstown around 4 p.m. in the area of the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA), when the truck skidded and hit the wall of a nearby pre-school.

The runaway truck continued downhill along the public road, damaging two electricity poles before coming to a crashing halt at the road leading to the southern gate of the Botanic Gardens, near Windsor Primary School.

The vehicle had coasted 400 feet after hitting the wall of the pre-school, before it came to a final halt.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT from the Male Surgical Ward at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), Browne, the owner of Browne’s Trucking Services, said he has been in the trucking service for over 15 years and nothing like that has happened to him before.

He said a combination of oil and water on the road caused his vehicle to skid.

“You pick up little skidding on the road if the pitch is just drizzle, but in that case the pitch was drizzle and you got oil on the road, so I managed to steer it from up the hill (Gibson Corner) come down, but when you get to water authority it had more oil there,” the North Union resident recalled.

He also dismissed rumours that the brakes of the vehicle had failed, stating that he services his vehicle himself.

“In a case like that you just mash the brakes and hold, mash and leggo, so the vehicle would just go, but when I get down there now, because of the oil, when you mash, the truck just spin.”

Upon first impact, Browne and his conductor, 34-year-old Reneke Primus of Diamond Estate, were flung out of the runaway vehicle.

“But the thing that I grateful for that little piece of road always have children; this has to be God, eh man, don’t fool yourself.

“Really and truly, I have to thank God, because this ain’t no man doing, because people saying that we drop out the truck right, on first impact, and then the truck move from there and go down and stop on the lamp pole without a driver, so you wa tell me dat ah magic?”

Browne said the impact is the last thing he remembered and apart from difficulty getting up because of the pain, the only injuries he sustained were a few bruises.

He also said that he had undergone a number of CT scans and X-rays.

“It has to be God, nobody else,” he added.

Primus, who lay in a bed next to Browne during the interview, appeared to be too weak to comment. He had also sustained minor injuries.

Because of the accident, two poles on the St Vincent and the Grenadines Electricity Services’ (VINLEC) transmission and distribution network were damaged.

VINLEC was required to replace these poles in the New Montrose area. One was replaced on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday.

As a result, residents of Lowmans Hill, sections of Old and New Montrose and sections of Dasent Cottage, Green Hill and Sharpes were without power on Tuesday, from 4:26 p.m. until shortly after 10 p.m. The blackout also affected Flow’s Internet and cable television service on Tuesday and Wednesday. VINLEC’s preliminary estimates for repair work in the area are $12,000, according to communications officer Tamara Job-Sprott. (AS)