Security minister escapes motor vehicle accident unscathed

By Arthur Hall

Thursday, May 16, 2019

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FOR the second time in less than eight years, cabinet minister Dr Horace Chang has walked away from a major traffic mishap without major injuries.

After surviving a September 2011 incident in which the driver of his vehicle swerved off the road to avoid a collision and ended up in bushes, Chang yesterday emerged from his Toyoto Prado SUV, which flipped twice at the intersection of Shortwood and Grants Pen roads in St Andrew, with no serious injuries.

In the 2011 incident Chang, the then minister of water and housing, had been on his way to the funeral of Enid Golding, mother of then Prime Minister Bruce Golding, in Old Harbour, St Catherine when the mishap occurred along the Dyke Road in the parish.

Chang survived with a fractured left hand while his wife sustained minor injuries.

Yesterday, Chang, now the minister of national security, was in the back seat of the vehicle, which was being driven by one of his close protection officers, when it collided with a Mitsubishi station wagon motor car.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton, who rushed to the University Hospital of the West Indies to check on his colleague, told the Jamaica Observer that Chang had been subjected to several tests and it was determined that he had no major injuries.

The close protection officer who was driving the vehicle complained of back and neck pains and was also put through a battery of tests.

By mid-afternoon yesterday, chairman of the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Robert Montague, reported that Chang was at home resting with his family.

“The JLP is thankful this afternoon that this morning's car accident which involved Dr Chang, minister of national security and general secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party, and his security personnel, resulted in no loss of life,” said Montague.

“We are thankful that the Almighty didn't see it fit to take him away from us and indeed from Jamaica just yet,” added Montague.

The driver of the other car escaped without any serious injuries and up to late yesterday police investigators had not released the cause of the crash. However, it has been reported that the vehicle carrying the security minister was going through the traffic lights at the intersection with a siren and emergency lighting on.

“The Jamaica Labour Party wishes all those involved in this accident a speedy recovery, and continues to implore all Jamaicans to observe the rules of the road as they traverse and go about their normal business,” said Montague.

Since the start of this year 164 people have died in 149 fatal crashes on Jamaica's roads.

This represents a 31 per cent increase in fatalities and a 27 per cent increase in fatal crashes when compared to the same period last year.

Motorcyclists account for 31 per cent of the road users to have died on the roads in 2019 with pedestrians accounting for 23 per cent.

Private motor vehicle drivers make up 17 per cent of the road users to have died on the roads since the start of the year, with their passengers accounting for 15 per cent.

Fifteen per cent of the people killed since the start of the year belonged to the 60 and over age group.

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