Woman and manicou lucky to be alive; vehicle overturns on Dennery Valley stretch

Woman and manicou lucky to be alive; vehicle overturns on Dennery Valley stretch
Shirin Tobie-Paul crashed after trying to avoid running over an opossum (manicou).
Shirin Tobie-Paul crashed after trying to avoid running over an opossum (manicou).

A woman said she is thankful to be alive to witness her son’s birthday today (May 30) after her vehicle overturned on the Dennery Valley highway yesterday morning in her attempt to save an animal.

Shirin Tobie-Paul, 33, a Canadian of St. Lucian parentage who lives in Rodney Heights, Gros Islet, was travelling to pick up someone at the Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort when she saw an opossum (manicou) on the road.

In her attempt to avoid hitting the animal, Tobie-Paul lost control of the Honda CRV which veered off the road, hit an embankment and overturned. The vehicle landed over a ditch.

“I do love animals and I guess subconsciously I did avoid it for that reason. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am an animal lover,” Tobie-Paul said.

Dennery resident, Junior Joseph, who may have been selling items on the roadside, rushed to her aid.

According to Tobie-Paul, Joseph said he thought the worst and most gruesome when he saw the vehicle went airborne and the sound of the impact when it landed.

The wrecked Honda CRV.

However, she said Joseph sprung into action when he saw smoke coming from the rental vehicle.

He unlocked her seat belt and pulled her from the vehicle. The air bag was not deployed at the time.

Joseph ran with her in his arms, shouting for help.

“He (Joseph) was so traumatised … He was in shock the entire time we were there … I remember him pulling me out and running,” she said.

A woman named Rosemarie also helped. She said Rosemarie kept her hydrated and continued to fan her until the ambulance arrived – about 10 minutes after the accident. The accident occurred about 11:30 a.m.

Tobie-Paul, whose parents are St. Lucians, was treated for a bruise to the knee at the La Ressource Health Centre.

“I am surprisingly unscathed. I just have a little bruise on my knee and one band covering it,” she said.

Tobie-Paul made it clear that she was not using her cellphone while driving and she was strapped with the seat belt.

When asked about the damage to the rental car and the likely cost, Tobie-Paul said she is “not worried” but grateful to be alive to see her two children today: her son who turns three today and her four-year-old daughter.

“To everyone who sent wishes, I am so grateful for your prayers… Wow. I am doing great and I’m happy to be alive! Miracles. Junior Joseph, a resident of Dennery, thank you for helping a stranger…. sobs and tears…Thank you,” Tobie-Paul wrote in an earlier message to St. Lucia News Online.

She also expressed thanks to Rosemarie, the ambulance personnel and her well-wishers.

This was Tobie-Paul’s first ever accident. Would she save a manicou again?

“I would avoid hitting another animal,” she said.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. The young woman wouldn't have known that by swerving to avoid the animal that the vehicle would have capsized. The people making the ridiculous comments about she willing to crash her vehicle or killing herself for an animal are being idiotic. It was just an unfortunate outcome from a simple act of kindness.

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  2. to all of you saying that she should have hit the animal, you all need to go for surgery to get a heart cuz i believe y'all don't have one. every living thing was made by the same God. I for one am an animal lover and it pains me every time i see a dead animal on the road, especially dogs, an animal that is big enough to be seen on the road, not only cows and horse that need to be avoided, just because they are big and can damage your "precious vehicle". i understand if its a mongoose since they have the habit of crossing at the last possible second, don't know for manicou.
    i for one am proud of her and am happy that she got out of that with just a bruised knee. God was definitely watching over her. And to the people who helped her; God Bless!

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  3. My fellow SNOers,why not say something about our St Lucian HEROES,Joseph and Rosemarie? I guess it is not about a St Lucians killing a tourist.

    Bravo! Joseph and Rosemarie. You made me proud.You have a heart of a son and daughter of God.

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  4. if it was me i kill dat already and eat dat i going and crash my vicheil for manicou . manicou doe paying insurance for me nah or for that rental

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  5. if it was me i kill dat already and eat dat i going and crash my vicheil for manicou . manicou doe paying insurance for me nah or for that rental

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    • From the headline I would have thought the manicou was her passenger.

      And why the creepy picture of the manicou? Did it stay at the scene of the accident for a photo op? Or was this picture taken off its Facebook/Twitter account?

      I'm happy she survived. I'd be pissed off if a manicou caused my death.

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        • I'd be a malevolent spirit driving down the Dennery highway killing every manicou in sight. There would be legends of the manicou killer on the Dennery highway. People would be afraid to drive down that highway for fear of me running them off the road just to kill a manicou.

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  6. It show us love within if it is animal unconditional, because animals feel the say way human feel. If you could love animal that shows how to love a human

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  7. i can understand that she loves animals but no animal is more precious than your own life look at you now and what happend and could have happend where is the manicou ohh am sorry he or she maybe doesn't even remember you or recognize you

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    • every living thing has a right to leave the whole situation is miraculous. Cause think of it on a daily basis how many dead animals are found on our roads in slu and she save one life. Further more the kind of accident n to leave unscathed. And also the attention that she got this was a story that was suppose to be brought to the fore front people have to be more like her. I'm inspired by her and joseph and rosemarie they r all heroes in their own rights. RESPECT DUE!!!

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  8. that manicou probably there roasting and u almost die. I love animals too, but wouldn't do such a dumb thing. btw she looking like the manicou too. close enough !

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  9. LMFAO...WOMAN OVERTURNS HER VEHICLE (LUCKY TO SURVIVE)TO ESCAPE HITTING A RODENT....FUNNIEST ...THAT SHOULD GO ON WORLDS DUMBEST DRIVERS

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  10. i am sorry once its not a human being i am not swaying my vehicle for any animal , she could have lost her life.........

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  11. Our loving God was with you my girl. Cherish his blessings and life; and continue loving his animals. Happy birthday to your son.

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    • No, it is not "RIDICULOUSNESS" as your termed it. I would prefer to call it humane, civil, love for herself and her fellow men - animals included, decency, someone who follow the rules of law (something lacking in most of us), etc. Alas, most of those traits listed are lacking in most, but a few St Lucians.

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  12. Poor woman a manicou almost killed her......thank god she is alive.....in st lucia we have manicou for breakfast,lunch and dinner...........them boys eating the manicou right bnow under the big tree lol

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