JUTC moves to lower lawsuits after crash

JUTC moves to lower lawsuits after crash

Alicia Dunkley

Monday, April 02, 2012

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IN the wake of an accident that claimed two lives yesterday and which involved a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus and a Suzuki Baleno motor car in Portmore St Catherine, chairman of the JUTC, Rev Garnet Roper said that the company, which has been slapped with hundreds of lawsuits will this month begin work on reducing the accident tally of the state-run entity.

"There have been many suits. We have to minimise the number of accidents and create a process that is tidy and simple and we are studying it. A committee will meet later this month to begin the process, it's gonna take some doing but it is not beyond us," Rev Roper told journalists.

The collision between the bus, driven by an unidentified female staff member, and the car with two men aboard, had both been travelling along the Braeton Parkway main road in Portmore when the incident took place. Based on eyewitness reports, the accident occurred when the speeding motor car, which was overtaking a line of traffic, tried to beat the bus which was turning from the main road into the depot on the right.

Senior Superintendent of Police Collin Pinnock of the St Catherine South police division yesterday said that the authorities were at that time still trying to piece together details of how the accident happened. SSP Pinnock, who said that he had no information on the occupants of the vehicle, stated that the incident occurred sometime between 3:00 and 3:30 pm.

Yesterday, one eyewitness who identified herself as Georgia gave her version of what occurred.

"The bus slowed down to turn into the terminal, the car was overtaking a line of traffic. I was behind the bus and when it was overtaking the bus, it couldn't pass because the bus was turning into the terminal, so that little space the car couldn't go through, so it hit the front of the bus and went right over. Because it kinda changed the direction of the bus from turning in the terminal, the bus just went right over on top of the car," she said.

"The car was speeding, they were heading down Braeton Parkway main road towards Municipal Boulevard. It seems they were trying to get over the light which was on green," Georgia, who said she was vacationing in the island, told the Jamaica Observer. "I saw the driver climb out the window right after the accident and went into the terminal," she stated.

One male onlooker added his own observations to the account while reflecting on the mangled state of the bodies of the occupants of the car.

"When the bus turn he (driver of the car) was trying to turn out too, but he was going so fast he hit the front of the bus and just veer off... the bus cover them right away, them crushed mi a tell yuh," he said.

"Them couldn't make it, couldn't come out alive," another female onlooker added.

Yesterday, traffic using the roadway was diverted because of the presence of fire trucks, police personnel and service vehicles as well as the large crowd of curious onlookers who had gathered on the scene.

The Portmore accident marked a sad day on the roads for Jamaicans, as three others died in Manchester and another in Trelawny.

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