T&T driver in accident that killed five had only one beer – brother

(Trinidad Express) The brother of the 24-year-old man whose car slammed into a Caura bar and killed five people on Tuesday said last night that his brother was not drunk as he only had one beer that morning.

He said that he was in the back seat of the Nissan Almera that was being driven by his brother that morning along the Eastern Main Road, in El Dorado.

The car belongs to their cousin.

“I want to know where people getting their information from about how he was drunk and speeding. They were there?”, he said, sounding annoyed.

The Express spoke to him at his mother’s Kandahar Village, Arouca home.

Their mother was at the Arouca Police Station. The driver is being held at the station after being discharged from the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, in Mt Hope yesterday morning where he was treated for minor injuries following the accident.

The police said that his case file would be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) today .

Charges of drunk driving and motor manslaughter are expected to be laid against the driver who reportedly failed a breathalyser test about an hour following the accident.

The driver’s brother said he spoke with him on Tuesday night at the hospital.

“He real, real sorry for what he did and when I talked to him about what happened he just shaking his head and crying,” said the man.

“Listen. He eh do that for spite. Nobody not watching people and just knocking them down just so. That is suicide thing,” he said.

He said that on Tuesday morning they had left a bar located along the Eastern Main Road a stone’s throw away from the scene of the accident.

He said it he, his brother, one of their male friends and two girls were heading east along the Eastern Main Road.

“I was in the back-seat watching out the window when all of a sudden I feel a pull and all I see was a white car and I see my brother pulling away from colliding with the car and well we was already doing 70 (kph) when bam.”

He said the car struck a light pole then slammed into the Palance Bar.

He said he looked at the Nissan Almera and noticed that its air-bags had not been deployed.

He said that he came out of the car and pulled out his brother, the man and the two girls. The man also said that he was told that two of the men who were killed were liming on the pavement outside the bar sitting between two parked cars. He said that he also heard that three of those who were killed were inside the bar and saw the car coming, “but they was just standing there and they didn’t move. It was like God was with me that morning,” he said.

The families of four of the victims were present at the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday.

The waiting room area was almost packed as one by one the autopsies were done.

Some relatives complained that there was almost a mix-up with the bodies and all of the families had to be called back to the Centre to re-identify the bodies and ensure that there was no mix-up when the time came for the respective families to claim them.

The five people killed in the accident were Shayaz Khan, 25, of McKenzie Street, Frederick Settlement, Caroni and his mother, Christine Khan, 51, of the same address; Arun Ajay, 22, of Caura Royal Road, El Dorado; Harrilal Mongroo, 30, of Five Rivers, Arouca and Shiva Bharath, 28, of St Joseph.

Christine’s brother, Luke Ramsawak, yesterday described his sister as a sociable person and very humble. “She was the kind of person if she sees you she will lime with you,” he said.

He explained that she lived at their mother’s home as she was the sibling responsible for taking care of her.

Ramsawak also spoke about his nephew, Shayaz, who he described as an ambitious computer technician employed at a Grand Bazaar casino.

He said that Shayaz had no children, loved music and was not “a big drinker”.

He said he did not know what Shayaz and his mother were doing outside the bar on Tuesday morning.

The brother of Shiva Bharath, Cpl Sunil Bharath of the North Eastern Divisional Task Force, said yesterday his brother was a contractor and “was very ambitious”.

Bharath lived in St Joseph, was unmarried and did not have any children.

The Express also spoke to the brother of Harrilal Mongroo.

He said that the family was currently in mourning and they did not have much to say about what happened.

The family of Ajay, 22, was not at the Forensic Science Centre yesterday.

According to police, around 5.30 a.m. on Tuesday a beige Nissan Almera was heading east along the Eastern Main Road when the driver pulled to his right at Caura Junction to avoid colliding with another vehicle, a white Corolla, which was exiting Caura Royal Road.

As a result the Almera slammed into a light-pole then skidded into the popular Palance Bar located near the junction along the Eastern Main Road, killing five people.

Three other people were injured in the accident. One of them, Akela Alleyne, 19, who suffered a broken hip, remained in hospital last night while the two others, Anika Small and Ian Joseph have been treated and discharged.

 

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