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Sea Lots accident: No Government help for injured
For the first time in a week after a close brush with death, Abigail Assing yesterday tried to feed herself. It was a task she was unable to do since being struck along with five other people by a car driven by an off-duty police officer near Pioneer Drive in Sea Lots last Sunday. Haydee Paul and her daughters— Ruthie, eight, and Shakira, seven—were killed instantly. The two other victims of the crash are Amanda Lalla, 26, the mother of four, and Ryan Rampersad, 20, the father of two, also of Pioneer Drive.
They remained warded at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit up to late yesterday. The police officer has since been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation. Residents protested for several days after the accident burning tyres and debris, blocking traffic and demanding Government build a walkover.
Minister of National Security Jack Warner and Works and Infrastructure Minister Emmanuel George, who visited the area, said plans were underway to bring some relief to the community. Several traffic wardens have since taken up positions at Pioneer Drive to help pedestrians cross the busy highway and workers from the Ministry of Works and Infrastrucure are doing preliminary assessments on the possibility to constructing the walkover.
During an interview at the hospital yesterday, Assing sat up in bed and gingerly lifted a spoon in her left hand to feed herself some home-made chicken noodle soup. She was surrounded by family members who brought her fruit and other edibles. Assing spoke with a raspy voice, and when she was told the police officer involved in the deadly accident had been suspended said: “That good. I surprise he was still there afterwards. He kill people.”
Assing said no government ministers had yet visited her in hospital. “I don’t want to see them. It is a bunch of promises and stupid talk. I don’t want to hear them. None of them came here,” she said. Assing said she saw the traffic wardens doing their job when it was televised on Thursday night. “It still had a truck run up on the children while they were crossing the road,” she said.
Assing said doctors told her to exercise her left hand. Her hip was also damaged in the accident. Lalla’s daughter, Davika, who was also visiting, is appealing for B-Positive blood for her mother. She said relatives were not approached by any minister or given the counselling that was promised to them. She said the suspension of the police officer was not good enough. Pearl Rampersad, Ryan’s mother, agreed.
“Wow. He get a paid vacation. One law for you and a different law for them. If it was my son, all now so he lock up. Justice belongs to God. I not expecting anything to happen. “If I was living Goodwood Gardens, Westmoorings or Valsayn I would have gotten justice,” she said. Rampersad said Ryan was still unconscious but moved his hand and twitched his eyes on occasion. She said she has a meeting with a neurosurgeon today on what the next move will be for him to regain consciousness.
Rampersad said she was disappointed in the government’s lack of interest in the accident victims. Referring to her criticism of Warner and George when they beat a hasty retreat out of Sea Lots on Wednesday, she said: “I was very hurt and disappointed. I lost it on him. They rushed to bury the dead but never come to see the living. Nobody care about the living.” Rampersad said however she was optimistic about her son’s recovery.
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