Boxing champion Jizelle Salandy had a promising future. But, as fate would have it, Salandy met a tragic demise when she succumbed to massive head and internal injuries, after an accident early yesterday morning. Salandy, who held several international boxing titles, would have turned 22 on January 25. National footballer Tamara Watson, who was in the front passenger seat of Salandy's car, was up to late yesterday listed in critical condition at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.
Salandy's death came on the heels of a collision involving Olympic double silver medallist Richard Thompson. The 100-metre runner-up and Monique Cabral, a member of the T&T team in Beijing, were involved in a collision on New Year's Day. Salandy, a Fyzabad lass, may have fallen asleep at the wheel, police believe. They said Salandy had just dropped off a friend at Piarco and was heading back to her camp in north Trinidad around 6.53 am. According to Assistant Police Commissioner (ACP Traffic) Fitzroy Frederick, the sporting star was driving a black Toyota Yaris, PCH 6169.
Frederick said that upon reaching vicinity of the NP overpass at Sea Lots, Port-of-Spain, Salandy hit a culvert and smashed head-on into a concrete pillar, dubbed the killer pillar. People who fell victims to that pillar in the past included Ram Kirpalani and chief immigration officer Joseph Bodkyn. Members of the Emergency Health Services (EHS) arrived promptly and pulled out a bloodied Salandy who was still conscious. She was taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, but died around 8.29 am, while undergoing emergency surgery.
Watson suffered two broken legs and internal injuries, hospital sources said. Frederick said there was no indication that alcohol might have been a factor in the accident. "There was nothing to suggest she (Salandy) collided with anything before crashing into the pillar," he said. "There was also nothing to suggest she may have been drinking. "There is the probability she fell asleep or she lost control of the vehicle," Frederick said. Commenting that Salandy's death had brought the road fatality figure to two for the year to date, the senior cop issued another appeal to motorist to be vigilant.
"It would seem our national heroes need to re-evaluate their safety and control while on the nation's roads, so that the society can benefit from their talent and ability," Frederick said. He also extended condolences on behalf of acting Police Commissioner James Philbert. "Our greatest appeal for the new year is for drivers to reduce their speed, particularly with young people," he added. Visiting the scene were officers of the Besson Street Police Station, headed by Sgt Sahadeo Singh.