Jamaica: Four dead in St. Bess road accidents

By Jamaica Gleaner

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The mangled remains of a church bus that was involved in a fatal road crash along the Holland Bamboo main road in St Elizabeth. * Hopeton Bucknor photo

(JAMAICA GLEANER) — Four persons are now dead and another four, up to yesterday afternoon, remained in hospital following their involvements in two separate road accidents along sections of the Holland Bamboo main road in St Elizabeth, on Friday night into Saturday morning.

Up to yesterday afternoon, the police had only released the names of three of the victims. The fourth man remained unidentified. They are 22-year-old Andre Stephenson and 23-year-old Jermaine Blair, both of Lacovia addresses in St Elizabeth, and Andrew Bingham, of a Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, St James, address.

A bishop and an elder, both attached to the Bible Way Apostolic Church in Manchester, were reportedly among those injured in the crash on Saturday morning.

Driver Lost Control

Reports from the Lacovia police are that about 11:45 p.m. on Friday, Stephenson and Blair were travelling in a white Toyota Corolla station wagon motor car along the Holland Bamboo main road, when Stephenson, who was behind the steering wheel, lost control and collided with a white 2000 Toyota Hiace travelling in the opposite direction.

Blair and Stephenson died on the spot.

“The man them need fi tek time pon the road,” one eyewitness told The Sunday Gleaner. “Mi siddung a mi stall and mi sure seh mi hear the car a come, but the speed wha the man a travel, mi only hear like a thunder clap, and next thing mi know, mi si the car fold up and everybody start run,” stated the pineapple vendor, who gave his names as Johan.

The same stretch of roadway claimed the lives of two other male motorists on Saturday morning. The accident occurred around 10:30 a.m. while Bishop Elmore Chambers and other members of the Bible Way Apostolic Church were on their way from Mandeville.

Chambers and two other members of the church were reportedly being transported by Pastor Ernest Roach to officiate at a wedding at the Apostolic branch located at Point district in Middle Quarters.

On reaching the vicinity of the Holland Bamboo main road, in proximity to the first fatal crash scene, the driver of a white Toyota Corolla attempted to overtake a line of vehicles and collided head-on with the silver Toyota Hiace minibus being driven by Roach.

Bingham, the driver of the Corolla, died on the spot, while his male passenger and all four occupants travelling in the church bus were rushed to hospital where they were admitted in serious condition. Bingham’s passenger died hours later while Roach sustained a broken hip, and Chambers and the two other occupants received minor injuries.

Nicholas Chambers, son of the injured Bishop, told The Sunday Gleaner that this was a very unfortunate situation.

“My father was on his way to officiate at a wedding, and we were shocked when we learnt of the accident,” he said. “We are especially concerned about the well-being of Pastor Roach, who suffered a broken hip. Church will not be the same tomorrow (Sunday) due to this unfortunate accident.”

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