Witter gives thanks
MANDEVILLE, Manchester – State minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining Frank Witter said he is grateful as he and his driver narrowly escaped serious injury after a vehicle they were travelling in overturned on the Melrose Hill Bypass in Manchester on Wednesday night.
The crash, which happened about 8:30 pm, involved a Toyota Prado and an International truck. Witter and his driver were travelling in the Prado. The truck was transporting water.
“Give God thanks, I am not too bad. I am just in some pain but no broken bones so far. I have one final test,” Witter told the Jamaica Observer by telephone from a radiology office on Thursday.
Witter, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for St Elizabeth South Eastern, said his driver was also in high spirits.
“He is better than me. He didn’t get much beat up like me,” said Witter.
The third-term MP said he held his head down during the crash.
“I just realised that it is serious trouble and I realised that the vehicle just went out of control… I just put my head down because I realised that it [Prado] was going to fall on the top,” he said.
“I just put my head down, and that probably saved me from having a fractured neck. I got everything on my shoulders — that is where most of the pain is. I exposed the shoulder and kept the head down,” he added.
A police report said both vehicles were travelling westerly uphill towards Williamsfield from Porus on the Melrose Hill Bypass when, upon reaching a section that has two lanes, the Prado attempted to undertake the truck.
The police said the Prado attempted to get ahead of the truck by way of the left lane, which filters from the May Pen to Williamsfield highway now under construction. The police said the truck also collided with the Prado.
The police said tyre marks suggested that the Prado then overturned and slid almost 60 metres in the right lane.
The May Pen to Williamsfield highway project — which will reduce travel time from Kingston to Mandeville and other points west — is expected to be completed by August 31. It was originally scheduled for completion in October 2022 but this was then changed to March 2023 before a timeline was given for January 2023.
The highway project includes the design and construction of approximately 23 kilometres of a four-lane, arterial divided highway on a new alignment and the upgrading of approximately five kilometres of the existing Melrose Hill Bypass to a four-lane, rural, arterial divided highway.
Eastbound traffic as of mid-2022 has been diverted from the Melrose Hill Bypass to the Old Melrose Hill Road to facilitate the highway construction.