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Parris thankful, happy to be alive

Parris thankful, happy to be alive


As the visitors, well wishers and messages from around the country and overseas poured into the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, Zaccheus Parris was using the time to reflect on his life.

The 17-year-veteran of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force is thankful that although he is unable to move around much, he is alive and able to move.{{more}}

Parris broke the fifth vertebrae in his neck in the Easter Monday smash up that saw him and his passenger Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves hospitalized. Had that bone been shattered during the accident, Parris could have been left paralyzed or dead.

When Searchlight visited Parris on Tuesday morning, he was resting and in good spirits, and was able to walk around. He recounted the final seconds before the vehicle he was driving, G7, impacted with a truck driven by Gideon Huggins of South Rivers.

“The last thing I remember was turning the corner and the truck was on us,” Parris recollected. “I tried to pull to the left to avoid the collision and then I lost consciousness”.

Parris who has been driving for the Prime Minister for seven years said he must have been knocked out after his head was hit by the airbag that was deployed after the collision. He said he regained consciousness on his way to the Hospital.

Parris said that although he is having some pain in his shoulder and hand, he is quite aware that the situation could have been worse, “I could have been a vegetable or dead, but I am thankful to God to be alive. I am also thankful to the people who visited”.

His thoughts are also with Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves who he considers the best official he has ever worked with, and also the other passenger in the vehicle, bodyguard Christopher Benjamin.

Parris joked that he wished he could go back to work as early as tomorrow, but acknowledged the fact that more rest and therapy would have to come first.

The Prime Minister and his entourage were heading from Fancy at the northern tip of the island to Buccament Bay on the south-western coast where the Unity Labor Party was hosting a function when the accident occurred.