MARTHA BRAE, Trelawny — Five persons, including a mother and daughter, were killed while three others were hospitalised following a three-vehicle crash along the North Coast Highway in this town early yesterday.
Police identified the dead as: 47-year-old Marion Johnson, a masseuse of Discovery Bay, St Ann; her daughter Alicia Hussey, 25, a waitress of Standfast district in Brown’s Town, also in St Ann; Odaine Mullings, 23, a truck driver also of a St Ann address; Roary McKenzie, 21, an entertainer of a St Catherine address; and Fitzroy Hawthorne, 44, a taxi driver of Kinloss in Trelawny.
Admitted to hospital in serious condition were Johnson’s son, Joel Moses, 18; Mark Amos; and a male who remained unidentified up to press time.
Police said the nasty accident, which occurred about 1:15 am yesterday, involved a Toyota Hiace mini-bus, a Toyota Caldina motor car, and a Ford Explorer pickup truck.
According to the police, Amos was driving the pickup truck along the highway towards Montego Bay when it collided with the mini-bus which was travelling in the same direction, then slammed into the motor car which was travelling in the opposite direction. The pickup truck reportedly burst into flames on impact.
Four of the seven persons travelling in the Caldina motor car reportedly died on the spot and three were taken to hospital, one of whom subsequently died while undergoing treatment.
Amos and the two other occupants of the car were said to be in critical condition last night, while the passengers in the bus escaped injuries.
The three vehicles involved in the crash were removed to a nearby garage by mid-morning but there remained pools of blood, small broken parts from the vehicles, as well as broken glass on the roadway.
One resident of the Martha Brae told the Jamaica Observer that he was among several persons who rushed to the scene of the accident minutes after it occurred in the wee hours of the morning.
“Out there (scene of accident) was terrible,” said the man, who gave his name as Michael. “I heard a loud bang and I rushed out of my house I saw dead people lying on the ground; I heard screams for help and saw blood all over the place. Several persons who came out there just could not deal with the situation,” he said.
He said, however, that several motorists who later arrived on the scene, as well as residents, assisted the occupants, some of whom were trapped, to get out of the vehicles.
At the nearby garage where the mangled vehicles were taken, scores of curious onlookers were in awe.
“Bwoy, dem (vehicles) mash up bad. It rough,” one man remarked.
In the meantime, Johnson’s daughter, Trishan Moses and her friend Marsha McDonald were a picture of grief at the Traffic Department at the Falmouth Police Station where they had gone to get details of the early morning crash.
So emotional was a tearful Moses that she found it extremely difficult to speak with the Observer.
McDonald said that Johnson’s daughter Alicia and son Joel were returning from a hotel in Montego Bay where they had gone to celebrate their mother’s 47th birthday, when the accident occurred.
“It was Marion’s birthday and so they (her children) took her to dinner at a hotel in Montego Bay and while they were on their way back they met in the accident,” said McDonald, who is Johnson’s neighbour.
She described Johnson as kind and loving.
“We were very close. We live like one family. Right now I don’t even know how I am going to deal with this tragedy,” said a grief-stricken McDonald.