January 31, 2017

Parliamentarians pay tribute to students killed in Barbados crash

There was an outpouring of condolences, during yesterday morning’s sitting of the House of Parliament, to the families and friends of the three Vincentian students and lone Barbadian, who met their untimely deaths in a vehicular accident in Barbados on Sunday.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, lamenting the tragedy, led tributes paid to those who perished.

“It’s is really a sad thing,” he said, noting that although it is a “terrible thing” when anyone dies, it is “absolutely devastating” when the deceased are young.

The Prime Minister further explained that he has spoken to all relevant personnel at the SVG Community College’s Division of Technical and Vocational Education (DTVE), and also with Dr Jozelle Miller, a psychologist in the Ministry of Health.

Gonsalves also revealed that psychologists will be offering support to the parents of the deceased, the other students who survived the crash, and other affected students.

Also joining in with extending condolences was Leader of the Opposition Dr Godwin Friday.

He said that upon hearing the news of the passing of the students, it was a blow that brought back painful memories.

“When I heard this … it really was a blow because it brought back some very painful memories of that crash up at Rock Gutter, and the recent death of Onixcy Hamilton down in Chateaubelair,” Friday said.

He also noted that it struck close to home because he, too, has college-age children. Friday further noted that tragedies like this put fear in the hearts of parents.

“But you claim by the grace of God that the guardian angels would guide them and bring them back safely; and sometimes it doesn’t happen, and I feel so much pain in my heart for those families.”

Condolences were also expressed by the Minister of Education St Clair Prince and New Democratic Party Member of Parliament for Central Kingstown St Clair Leacock.

On Sunday, January 29, three female students of the SVGCC’s Division of Technical and Vocational Education (Aziza Dennie, Carianne Padmore and Danee Horne) and a 23-year-old Barbadian man died when the car they were travelling in collided with a bus at Graeme Hall, Christ Church.

The students, who were a group of seven on internship at The Crane Resort, were returning from a farewell staff function when the accident occurred.

Two male students, who were hospitalized in Barbados have since been discharged. (CM)