UPDATE: Two children, their mothers among five killed in Westmoreland crash
WESTMORELAND, Jamaica — Two children and their mothers were among five people killed in a crash on the Bluefields main road in Westmoreland on Monday afternoon.
The identities of the deceased were not confirmed by late evening. However, Senior Superintendent (SSP) Wayne Josephs, head of the Westmoreland police division, informed Observer Online that a mother and her teenage daughter, along with another woman and her son, were among the victims.
SSP Josephs stated that the crash involved a grey Toyota Noah taxi and a truck. Firefighters and emergency personnel worked frantically to remove the occupants of the public passenger vehicle. As they laboured, traffic piled up in the area, and videos of the carnage began circulating on social media.
According to police reports, the taxi, with six people onboard, was travelling towards Whitehouse when the vehicle it was in front of it slowed down. The cab driver swerved, collided with a truck travelling in the opposite direction, and ended up in a tree.
“Five persons are now dead, four females and a male. Three persons died on the scene, and two were rushed to the hospital and succumbed,” SSP Josephs said.
“The driver, I understand, fled the scene,” SSP Josephs said before appealing to him to turn himself in. However, community members say that the cab driver was among the persons taken for medical help.
SSP Josephs urged those transporting the commuting public to slow down.
“I just want to take this opportunity to ask drivers of public passenger vehicles to remember that it is not only their lives alone that they have in their hands. They also have the lives of the passengers, so they need to take that into consideration when driving on the road and observe the speed limit,” he appealed.
“Especially when the road is wet, you have to be extra careful. I am also appealing to people on a whole, to road users. When it comes down to this time of the year, you have a lot of people celebrating. So there is madness on the street! Drive with your seat belt,” he cautioned.
He also had a message for another group of road users.
“I am also appealing to motorcyclists to wear helmets because a lot of our accidents in Westmoreland involve motorcyclists,” he stressed.
– Kimberley Peddie