Falling rocks, debris damage vehicle on under-construction Junction main road

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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A week after Royston Henry suffered a “traumatic” experience and had his vehicle badly damaged while travelling on the under-construction Junction main road in St Mary, he said contracting firm Surrey Paving and Aggregate Company Limited has failed to communicate with him.

The company, which is undertaking rehabilitation work on the corridor, is liable to compensate motorists or pedestrians injured or impacted by the work being done, according to the National Works Agency (NWA).

In an e-mail to the Jamaica Observer yesterday following the newspaper's report on the status of the Junction main road, Henry explained that he was travelling with two other colleagues in his 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander on February 11 when motorists in the line of traffic were asked to stop by traffic control personnel.

He said soon after, motorists were given the “green flag” to proceed and that's when he and his co-workers heard loud bangs and realised that rocks and debris were hitting his vehicle.

“I was heading home to Kingston and, on reaching the section of the roadway that's being excavated, I was given not one, but two, green flags from the flag persons on the site, only to have the excavator on the hill throwing down stones and boulders onto my car, severely damaging it,” the man said, recalling that the incident occurred minutes to 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

“I was given a name of the company, a number for a lady, and directions to the main office in Kingston. On calling the number the lady was rather defensive and rude and kept insisting I come to the site office, which I must say was back towards Agualta Vale side, and instructions to report it to the police and my insurance company.

“I was not provided with any of their insurance or any other information, and even when I went to the main office the following day, after making arrangements to meet a supervisor who didn't show, I was basically told by someone I presume to be a manager there that I was to report it to the police and my insurance company, and they had nothing else to do with it, even though I made them aware that I was a travelling officer and needed my vehicle for work,” the man continued.

He shared that it took him two days to ascertain the name of the insurance company associated with the firm “and that was after they were instructed by the NWA to fulfil their obligations to the accident”.

Henry said, to date, he has not been contacted by the company or its insurance provider to determine if there were any personal injuries or to identify the damage done to his vehicle.

He said an assessment of the damage done to the vehicle revealed that a new bonnet, windscreen, fender, two doors, a roof, and a trunk were needed.

“I am now using my father's vehicle to do my work and I've not had a response from the company. They didn't even ask if we were fine. Up until the Wednesday (February 12) afternoon, my co-worker was still finding splinters in his arm. We are traumatised. I can tell you I have driven through there yesterday (Monday) and today (Tuesday), and each time I've been driving through there I keep looking on the hillside,” Henry said, noting that his position as a mental health officer for St Mary forces him to travel that route.

“I was extremely perturbed to be told that it was an accident [that] I need to report it to the police, I need to report it to my insurance [company], and they have nothing else to do with it,” he added.

The Observer contacted a representative from the company, with whom Henry has been in contact, who said that she could not comment on the matter.

Several calls to Surrey Paving and Aggregate Company Limited went unanswered yesterday.

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