News

Child undergoes 5-hour operation to save leg after accident

Police say unlicensed driver drove away vehicle given for washing

BY KARYL WALKER Editor - Crime/Court Desk walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, March 27, 2014    

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DOCTORS at the Kingston Public Hospital worked feverishly during a five-hour operation yesterday to avoid amputating the leg of 12-year-old Nnekia Thomas who was hit down by a motor car in Kingston.

Thomas was on her way to her sports day at the St Patrick's Primary School when the car ploughed into her and dragged her

several metres.

"The doctors said they might not have to amputate her leg which was damaged very badly. During the day they were saying it was a distinct possibility that the leg would have to be removed," Police Superintendent Lennox Harper told the Jamaica Observer.

An obviously shaken Inspector Steve Wint, of the St Andrew South Police Division, said the child was severely injured after the car pinned her to the wall of the Lee Mason morgue and dragged her for several metres. Her ordeal continued after the driver attempted to get the vehicle off the wall and dragged her for several more metres in the other direction.

The driver was mauled by an angry mob of residents from Tavares Gardens, popularly known as 'Payne Land', after he tried to escape the scene. He was rescued by an off-duty policeman who was alerted about the commotion and fired warning shots to ward off the angry mob.

But before the cop could save the driver, he was stabbed and hit over the body by the angry residents. They then smashed the windows of the Mitsubishi Galant the man was driving before setting it ablaze.

Firefighters who rushed to the scene to put out the blaze were set upon by the residents who flung several stones at them. There were no injuries reported but the truck's windscreen was smashed.

"This is the only truck serving this area. Right now we have no more trucks," a shaken fireman told the Jamaica Observer.

The driver involved in the accident was also taken to hospital where he was treated and handcuffed to a bed before being arrested by the police.

Inspector Wint said the saga begun in the Kingston West Police Division when the driver hit another motor vehicle in the vicinity of the Tivoli Gardens High School and sped away from the scene before the other motorist was able to exchange particulars with him. He was being chased by another motorist when the vehicle hit down the child.

Another child who was close to Nnekia said she had to run to avoid being hit. "If me never run me woulda get lick down to," the traumatised child said.

Police reported that the driver did not have a driver's licence and had driven away the motor car after being given the job of washing

the vehicle.

Under Jamaican law, charges of reckless and dangerous driving, operating a vehicle without a licence and driving away a vehicle without the owner's consent carry heavy penalties.

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