Teenage girl mangled as jeep wrecks Byera house
Front Page
August 24, 2007

Teenage girl mangled as jeep wrecks Byera house


Destruction, death and grief are phenomena normally associated with the passage of a storm or hurricane. However, while four families of North Central Windward were preparing for the passage of tropical storm Dean last week, they were not in any way prepared for the catastrophic event at Byera that struck their lives.{{more}}

At approximately 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, August 16, a Nissan Terrano jeep, PB 794, driven by Kellis ‘Stay Cool’ Thomas of Georgetown, and with passengers Rick Pinder of Cedars and Shanika Roban of Chester Cottage slammed into a utility pole at Byera, breaking it in two before crashing into Cecil Alvis’ home.

As the crashing sounds faded away, Roban, a 16-year-old resident of Chester Cottage lay dead in the mangled vehicle while Thomas and Pinder were badly injured. At press time the 29-year-old Thomas had left the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital while Pinder was still nursing his injuries.

The residents who rushed to the scene were able to free Thomas and Pinder but some claim that it took them, with the help of police almost fours hours to remove Roban from the back seat of the wreckage.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (left) tries to console Enika Roban, the mother of the 16-year-old accident victim Shanika Roban who died in the crash. Below is the extensively damaged house.

A young woman who did not wish to be identified told SEARCHLIGHT that it was horrifying looking at the deceased teenager. She explained that Roban lay dead with a compact disc (CD) stuck in her face, one of her eyes hanging from the socket, teeth knocked out and a piece of metal sticking out of the side of her head.

On Friday, August 18, when SEARCHLIGHT visited the accident scene the overcast skies that hovered over the area mirrored the somber mood of residents.

Alvis, owner of the partially destroyed house appeared shaken up, and noted that he was still in a state of shock. He also acknowledged his close call with death as he and other members of his home could have been killed when the vehicle collided with his living room wall.

“If me and my son did not go in that could have been our call. We were outside then I decided it was close to eight, so it was time to go in. My son said he was cooling outside a bit. As soon as I went into the bedroom I heard this big explosion. When I rush outside I saw my son coming from the washroom, he said he came in behind me or the vehicle would have catch him,” said the 67-year-old man.

Joan Alvis (left) and her husband Cecil Alvis.

“Two of us ran outside and I met one of my brothers with a searchlight and two boys trying to get the chauffeur out. When they get through they came back for the other guy at the front but the girl, they just couldn’t get her out at all,” said Alvis, adding “They started after eight trying to get her out and it wasn’t until close to 12 that they succeeded”. He said he discovered that Roban was his cousin but noted he could have suffered more losses had his grandchildren who are vacationing in Tortola at the moment been at home.

“Despite feeling sad about it, I am thankful to be alive…but overall this is the worst accident I’ve ever seen,” said Alvis.

While taking a tour of his constituency on Friday afternoon to get a first hand view of the damage caused by tropical storm Dean, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves paid Alvis a visit. He disclosed that while he expects Alvis would be privately compensated by insurance, in the interim, as Alvis’ area representative, he will make efforts to help him.