The brother of a man who was the victim of a hit-and-run accident over the weekend has called on the perpetrator and the general public to take responsibility for such incidents when they occur.
Richard Henry said his brother Mandela Henry was riding his bicycle when he was knocked down by a vehicle at about 7:30 p.m. near True Value on the Laborie/Vieux Fort Highway on Saturday, July 4.
Mandela was on his way to his La Ressource home in Vieux Fort and had lights on his bicycle at the time of the incident, according to Richard who spoke to Saint Lucia News Online (SNO). He said the area the incident occurred was also well lit.
Mandela was struck from behind by the car which was being driven by a male. Richard said that upon impact his brother “flew” off the bicycle and ended up on the side of the street.
“…The vehicle slightly slowed down just upon approaching the bridge that’s next to True Value in the Laborie direction and the person just continue driving off,” he said.
Mandela was later picked up by his family and taken to the hospital after the police were summoned. X-rays were done and he was discharged Saturday night.
Richard told SNO that while his family is happy that Mandela did not receive any life-threatening injuries, they are appealing to the driver to present himself to the authorities and own up to his actions. Richard said his family is not planning to take any action against the driver but are just hoping that he will take responsibility for the accident.
“We want to appeal to the driver to report himself to the police… We just need to send that strong message to other motorists also that in the event that there is an accident, I think that the best thing that they should do is stop and look after the individual (victim). It’s not always about money and people asking for money out of court arrangements. Just do what is right because sometimes it could be a minor issue and they could save the person’s life as opposed to leaving the person to perish at the side of the road,” Richard said.
While alluding to a similar hit-and-run case which happened recently, which resulted in the victim succumbing a few days later, Richard said, “We are very lucky that Mandela made it out alive. .. But the fact that the driver just drove off, that’s the issue for us.”
Mandela suffered a number of bruises about the body.
According to Richard, an alleged eye witness has since identified the car in question and police are investigating. In addition, businesses in the area have given a commitment to provide surveillance tapes to assist with investigations.