Deadly smash-up involving Trinidad’s acting chief judge
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday May 21, 2012 – The popular Trincity area became the scene of early morning horror on Sunday (May 20) as a two-vehicle collision left body parts strewn across the Churchill Roosevelt Highway and Trinidad and Tobago’s acting Chief Justice Wendell Kangaloo fighting for his life.
Four people were killed and three others were injured, Kangaloo critically so, in the accident that occurred around 5:45 am along the island's main east-west thoroughfare.
Up to press time reports were that Justice Kangaloo, 56, of Westmoorings, was listed in critical condition with head trauma and internal bleeding at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, where he and two of his bodyguards, were transferred to after initially being rushed to the Arima District Hospital following the accident.
Hospital sources said Kangaloo suffered complications which caused his heart to stop and had to be resuscitated by doctors who performed emergency surgery. He has been said to be drifting in and out of consciousness.
Travelling with the judge were two policemen, Police Constables Martin Caesar and Terrence Fortune, who had been assigned as Kangaloo’s security detail during his stint as acting Chief Justice. Caesar, who is attached to the Guard and Emergency Branch, was driving Kangaloo’s vehicle while Fortune, a Special Branch officer, was in the front passenger-seat. Neither were said to be critically injured.
The name of one of the four dead has not yet been disclosed, but police said that all those killed were in one vehicle and all died at the scene. Among the dead are: Roy Ramthahal, 25, of Industry Lane, Belmont; Jevon Spencer, 22, an employee of the Port-of-Spain City Corporation from Willis Street, Belmont; Jeremie John, 24, of St James. The lone unidentified passenger is female.
The accident occurred in the vicinity of Savannah Drive, between the Trincity and Orange Grove intersections on the east-bound lane. The four were said to be returning home from the opening of Club Status (formerly the Living Room Nightclub) in Arima. Eyewitnesses have been quoted as saying their vehicle, a white Honda Civic, crossed the intersection and slammed into the black Toyata Prado SUV in which Justice Kangaloo was a passenger.
Several ambulances rushed to the scene minutes after the crash, as well as fire officers from the Tunapuna Fire Station, to render assistance. Several Special Branch officers and personnel from the Guard and Emergency Branch also congregated at the accident site.
The wreckages of both vehicles were towed to the Arouca Police Station where they will remain impounded until the police complete their investigation of the fatal crash. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Terry Young and Inspector David of the Northern Division have been reported as among those investigating the accident.
A spokesperson from Police Traffic Branch has reportedly said the accident pushed the number of road fatalities for the year up to 70.