BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday January 30, 2017 – Hours before they were to return to St Vincent and the Grenadines at the end of a hospitality internship in Barbados, three teenage girls were killed in a horrific road accident that left their families shaken and had “thrown off” the leader of their country.
Also dead in the crash that occurred around 3 a.m. yesterday, was the 23-year-old Barbadian man, Andre Jabarry Gittens, who was driving the vehicle in which they were travelling.
The young women – Aziza Awanna Dennie, 19; Danee Deverey Horne, 17; and Carianne Lee-New Padmore, 18 – were part of a seven-member group from the St. Vincent Technical College here since last December for an internship programme at the Crane Resort in the eastern parish of St Philip, and were due to depart on a plane later that morning. Two of their colleagues – Kemelius Boyea, 21; and Darren Renaldo Daniel, 18 – were also travelling in the car with them and although they survived the crash, they have been hospitalized.
Police say their car collided with a taxi van on the ABC Highway.
The occupants of the taxi, including 52-year-old driver Curtis Rock, all survived but had to seek medical attention.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves told the Barbados Today online newspaper that he was saddened by the tragedy.
“It is a period of real sadness. It is terrible when anyone dies in an accident, but it is absolutely devastating when it is a young person,” he said, admitting that he had been personally “thrown off” by the accident in which the son of one of his constituents was also involved.
Gonsalves added that a process had already been set in motion at a very senior level of his government to ensure that all the necessary arrangements were put in place to facilitate the victims’ families at this difficult time.
“We have made all of the arrangements to contact the counsellors, the people who are involved in this business of holding people’s hands and caring for them at times of bereavement or tragedy,” he said.