(TRINIDAD NEWS DAY) – LET the untimely death of Crystal Cazoe be a lesson to all that the government’s stay-at-home regulations should be obeyed.
This was the plea from Cazoe’s relatives on Monday as they waited for her autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre in St James a day after the mother of four was killed in an accident along the North Coast Road in Las Cuevas after attending an illegal covid19 lime at Maracas Bay.
Cazoe, 29, from Barataria, was a passenger in the tray of a panel van which collided with an embankment and then a light pole at 4 am on Sunday. Seven other people were injured. Newsday understands Cazoe and the others were returning from a boatride in Las Cuevas and were offered a ride by a fish vendor.
Cazoe’s ex-boyfriend Wendell Perry said he was saddened by her death and urged the public to use this incident as an example to stay at home as instructed by the state and police. “The government has been advising people to stay at home so it’s up to the public to listen. Use this tragedy as an example. It’s a very serious situation because four children just lost their mother,” he said.
Perry said Cazoe did not have much time to herself and saw the lime as an opportunity to unwind after taking care of her children since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Since March, all schools have been closed and people have been told to stay at home unless they are part of the essential services or need to do urgent business such as going to the grocery or pharmacy.
Newsday also spoke to Cazoe’s cousin Conrad Mandley, who said his younger sister, Kizzy, was also in the van when the accident happened. Mandley said while he is disappointed in his sister’s decision to attend the lime, despite stay-at-home orders, he could not control what other people did.
“Even when she was at the hospital I told her how upset I was with her. I told her that she could have just as easily been the one to die instead of Crystal.
“Going out during the covid19 outbreak is something I advised against. But then again, you can’t make people’s choices for them.”
Mandley said Cazoe and the others were originally liming in Maracas Bay, but then someone offered to take them on a boat ride. After the ride, the owner of the boat dropped them off in Las Cuevas, where the fish vendor offered them a ride back to Port of Spain. Mandley said he forgives the driver and does not hold any ill-will towards him.
Another relative chimed in, “It’s a lesson learned. We’e not here to condemn anyone or hold anyone responsible but we should all learn from what has happened. Taking a chance to go and lime during the covid19 lockdown is just not worth it. Had Crystal chosen to remain at home, she would be alive today, and we would not be at Forensics waiting on her death certificate.”
It’s not the first time that people engaging in illegal covid19 fetes and limes have made the news since the Prime Minister announced on March 18, that access to beaches, rivers and bars will be restricted to minimise public gatherings and reduce the chance of community spread of the virus.
On April 15, five men and six Venezuelan women appeared before a Port of Spain magistrate charged with gathering in a public place contrary to emergency health regulations. The group was arrested on April 10 at Alicia’s Guest House in St Ann’s during a raid led by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and members of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT).
The Trinidadian men were all granted own bail of $20,000 on the condition that they remain at home between 6 pm and 8 am, until the covid19 regulations are lifted. The women were denied bail. Griffith has warned that the police will take a hard stance against people breaking the stay-at-home regulations to go to parties and limes.
The autopsy done on Monday confirmed that Cazoe died from internal injuries and haemorrhaging consistent with blunt force trauma sustained in an accident.
The other victims were all treated at hospital.
Investigations are continuing.