Based on a preliminary medical assessment, there were no serious injuries recorded among the officers from the Special Services Unit (SSU) involved in an accident between a police pickup and a private vehicle last Sunday, August 15.
Pictures circulating on social media last weekend showed officers in the uniform of the SSU lying on the road next to a transport used by the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force(RSVGPF). The police vehicle had a dent to the right back door, and had stopped diagonally across the road, with its back wheels, one of which was flat, resting against the sidewalk. A silver car, number plate not readable, was pictured a short distance away, facing front, with significant damage to the right front side.
The scene of the accident pictured is in the vicinity of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital(MCMH), near the corner before the start of the Nelson Mandela Highway.
The Commissioner of Police(COP) Colin John has confirmed that an accident did occur between five and six o’clock on Sunday morning, which involved a transport carrying SSU officers who were returning from duty. The transport, and a car being driven by a police officer, who was apparently on his way to work, collided.
The COP declined to comment on the issue of who was at fault, noting “I wouldn’t want to go into that now because that might be a matter for the court, so I don’t want to prejudice any decision or appear as if I interfered with the decision.”
On the question of injury he responded “Yes, some police officers were injured, thankfully not seriously.”
John said they were taken to the Accident and Emergency Department at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), where they were examined, treated and discharged.
“…Based on the preliminary assessment – no serious injury,” he said, and confirmed that there were no broken bones.
Although he cannot give an exact figure, it is estimated that between four to six officers travelling in the police transport were hurt, and the driver of the other vehicle also reported having received an injury.
Going forward the matter will be investigated, the Commissioner said, “and a determination will be made as to who is liable; if someone is liable we will take it from there.”
In response to inquiries of compensation for the officers injured, he noted that it is very likely that they will receive this while reiterating that the matter is under investigation.
The practice of riding in the tray of trucks presents risks to the passengers because there aren’t any safety mechanisms, and nothing to prevent ejection in the event of an accident. The trays are designed to carry cargo and not persons.
However, the Commissioner explained that anyone who wants to travel this way can seek the permission of the Commissioner of Police.
Nonetheless, when incidents such as this accident occurs, the issue of the dangers involved comes to the forefront once more, and concerns may be voiced.
When asked what he would say in response to such concerns, John said, “We are concerned about it as well, it’s something that has been brought up from time to time. We have put things in place in some instances and are still putting things in place to address it.”