...a little bit of closure, say residents
Story Created: Apr 18, 2013 at 9:43 PM ECT
Story Updated: Apr 18, 2013 at 9:43 PM ECT
GOD answers prayers.
If the Sea Lots community ever doubted that, their faith was renewed yesterday with news that an off-duty policeman is to be charged with the death of a mother and her two daughters in a car crash on February 24.
On February 24, an off-duty police officer crashed into six people in Sea Lots, killing three and injuring three others.
Haydee Paul, 28, and her two daughters Akasha, eight, and Shakira, seven, were killed while making their way home after crossing the Beetham Highway near Pioneer Drive in Sea Lots.
Last week the Sea Lots community’s faith wavered in terms of having justice prevail in the matter as the Director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), Gillian Lucky, listed areas of concern in the probe into the accident
Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard however restored their faith yesterday with the news that the driver now faces three charges of death caused by dangerous driving.
The Express yesterday visited Pioneer Drive to get the reaction of the residents to the news.
Police officers were at the entrance to Pioneer Drive directing traffic and aiding residents in crossing the busy roadway.
Carol Gonzales, Paul’s mother and the grandmother of Akasha and Shakira, embraced community spokesman Kenroy Dopwell as they saw each other for the first time since the announcement of Gaspard’s decision.
“I feel a little relief that God really answered my prayers. Whole night last night (Wednesday night) in my sleep I was praying. Thank God. He is great, He is mighty. I am glad,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said she intended to give the authorities until next Wednesday, exactly two months after the fatal accident, to respond.
“I am satisfied to a point. This is a little bit of closure that we got but we still have to rally out with people still in the hospital,” she said.
“It (this news) gives the pain felt by the mothers a little ease,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said she wants to be present at the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court when the accused makes his first appearance.
“I want to be there (when he appears before the court). I want to see the man that did that bodily harm and did not have the heart to say sorry. Not even his mother (had the heart to say sorry). I really need to see that family. I just want to watch them in their face with a little relief of justice. I am glad we get justice,” she said.
Dopwell echoed Gonzales’ sentiments that justice was served, and said the community was now able to “breathe a sigh of relief”.
“We get satisfaction to an extent with the safety of the residents, we accept that to a point. We get a level of justice with respect to charges being laid because we expected none would have been laid. We accept that,” Dopwell said.
“Despite we breathing a sigh of relief and we are satisfied to an extent, we still want somebody to be held accountable with respect to the botched blood sample,” he said.
“If it had the proper blood (samples) he might have gotten six (charges),” Dopwell said.
Dopwell called on Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan to step in and help Ryan Rampersad and Amanda Lalla who were injured.
“The best health care was promised to them and we are dissatisfied with the health care they are getting there (at the Port of Spain General Hospital),” Dopwell said.
Abbigail Assing, the other injured, is at home but is not coping well emotionally, Dopwell said.
“Abigail is in excruciating pain, she keeps recounting the accident. We are praying for her,” he said.
Daniella Gittens, a Pioneer Drive resident, yesterday gave God the glory for the news that the driver would be charged.
“Justice has prevailed because we real pray in church for God to give us justice. We thank God that justice has been served. Don’t play with God, He is a merciful God,” Gittens said.