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Three killed in Christmas Eve carnage

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Firemen in action as they work to remove the body of Melissa Brusco, inset, from a Nissan Bluebird car. She was killed instantly after a collision with an Audi driven by Leslie Rambaran, at the intersection of the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway and Southern Main Road, Curepe, yesterday. Also killed in the accident was her friend Sylbert James, the driver of the Nissan, who was from Maracas, St Joseph. PHOTOS: ANDRE ALEXANDER

Christmas celebrations for three families turned to tragedy yesterday, following three deaths in two separate accidents yesterday morning. Around 8.30 am, 66-year-old Sylbert James and his friend 38-year-old Melissa Brusco died on the spot when the car they were travelling in was hit along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway near the Curepe intersection. 



James and Brusco, along with Brusco’s 11-year-old daughter Joyanna, were heading south along the Southern Main Road in James’ grey Nissan Bluebird taxi. As the car reached the intersection of the main road and the highway, a dark blue Audi driven by Leslie Rambaran collided with the Bluebird. Rambaran was travelling west along the highway and had her daughter Laura in the car with her. Both were taken to the Eric Williams Medical Science Complex, Mt Hope, where they were treated and discharged.


The accident caused a major traffic backup along the Southern Main Road and the westbound lane of the highway. Curious onlookers heading east caused traffic when they slowed down to look at the accident. Speaking with members of the media at her home at Dhanoolal Street, Maracas, St Joseph, yesterday, Brusco’s elder sister Millie said Melissa, who had recently moved to Arima, was the last girl among ten siblings.


Brusco recalled having to carry her younger sister on her back to school as Melissa did not want to go. Brusco said Melissa, the mother of four, never had any Christmas plans as she was always working. It was while on her way to work in Chaguanas as a domestic worker that Melissa died. Brusco recalled her sister coming to her home for pastelles on Monday night.


Meanwhile, in the unrelated accident, 17-year-old Kevin Ganase died in an attempt to protect himself. Police said that around 7 am, Ganase was on the tray of a Bedford truck on Juniper Street, Morvant when the truck’s brakes failed. Ganase and another worker jumped off the tray of the truck when it began veering off the road and into a nearby ditch. Ganase fell and hit his head and died on the spot.


The truck was contracted by the San Juan Laventille Regional Corporation, and Ganase was employed to pick up debris in the area. The driver and the other worker were taken to the Eric Williams Medical Science Complex. The road fatality toll now stands at 149, 44 fewer than at the same date last year, according to road safety watchdog group Arrive Alive.


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