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Fireman dies after tree falls on car

Monday, March 17, 2014
Hilarion Ramlochan’s car remains parked after a teak tree fell its hood killing him on Saturday. PHOTO:RISHI RAGOONATH

As a fire officer for over 30 years Hilarion Ramlochan was regarded as a hero, haveing recued and saved the lives of many. However, when he needed help the law enforcement agencies and medical care service failed him. For an hour, Ramlochan, 56, remained in his car dying awaiting help after a teak tree fell on the hood of his car on Saturday near New Grant. Ramlochan, who retired last year as an acting fire sub-station officer at Savonetta Fire Station, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Princes Town Health Facility.



Had help arrived sooner, his relatives believe he might have survived. The incident took place while Ramlochan was heading home in his AD wagon along Robinson Road, Busy Corner. At Pascal Road, where Ramlochan lived with his wife Pearl and two children, villagers complained that the incident was caused by negligence. Four days ago, they said, there was a bush fire in that area, but the authorities only began cutting down the burnt trees near the road after Saturday’s accident. 


The roots of the tree which fell on Ramlochan’s car were burnt. Another villager, Brandon Samsingh, escaped injury yesterday morning after another tree fell and hit the side of his car in the same area. David Boodoo, a resident, who arrived seconds after the accident said Ramlochan was conscious and gasping for breath, but his neck appeared broken.


He said he prayed with Ramlochan, who was responsive, while they waited. “This whole scenario took place at 8.45 am and it was a bit disappointing to know that the fire brigade and ambulance and police respond almost one hour after. From New Grant and Princes Town it would take me 15 to 20 minutes.” His son Sean, who turns 28 today, arrived afterwards and also prayed with his father and told him to make peace with the Lord. 


Sean complained about the slow and insensitive response by the paramedics. “From the moment they put him in the ambulance they gave up on him.” Ironically, Hilarion’s daughter Candice, 27, said was a hero always saving people. Her brother said on countlesss occasions he rescued people involved in accidents. 


For the past couple of years, Sean said, his father had dedicated his life to the church. “One message he always giving in the last couple of months is to change your life and give your life to Christ,” Candice said. An autopsy is expected to be performed today at the mortuary of the San Fernando General Hospital. Tableland police are investigating. 


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