T&T friends die instantly in car crash

(Trinidad Guardian) Two best friends died on the spot when the car they were travelling in collided head-on with another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction along the Valencia Stretch early yesterday.

Dead are Shaquille Patrick 23, and Romell Goodridge, 24, both of Robinson Lane, Damarie Hill, Guaico, Sangre Grande. They were returning home after attending a party in Arima.

They suffered broken limbs and neck as well as punctured lungs and other internal injuries.

Their deaths, along with the hit-and-run of Javed Hassanali, took the road death figure to 48.

Police reported at around 6.45 am, a Nissan Almera, driven by Goodridge, was heading East when it collided with a Ford Ranger driven by Israel Khan of Cemetery Street, Princess Town.

Shaquille Patrick’s mother Rosey, second from right, is consoled by relatives while nieces of Romell Goodridge embrace each other at the accident scene along the Valencia Stretch yesterday.

Khan was heading in the opposite direction. Patrick was in the front passenger seat of the Nissan Almera.

Patrick and Goodridge died instantly on impact while Khan sustained chest and leg injuries.

Khan was taken by an EHS ambulance to the Sangre Grande Hospital where he was treated and kept for observation.

Both Patrick and Goodridge were thrown out of their vehicle as it spun around on impact.

Their bodies were found a short distance apart.

Khan told police he saw the Almera swerving, coming towards his vehicle. He said the vehicle came suddenly onto his pick up although he tried to avoid the accident.

Khan told police he could not have done anything as the accident happened in a wink of an eye.

As news spread, families and friends of Patrick and Goodridge arrived at the scene of the crash and wept as they looked at the bodies covered on the shoulder of the Valencia Stretch.

Patrick’s mother Rosey could not believe that it was her son lying dead on the side of the road.

She screamed: “Son! Son! only yesterday we spoke about celebrating your father’s 53rd birthday on Sunday and instead of birthday we now have to prepare for your funeral.”

Shaquille’s father Regan Patrick, who is soon to celebrate his birthday, said before the accident his son called him saying he was on his way with Goodridge to celebrate his birthday and that they were going to have a good time.

Regan said these were his son’s last words to him.

The distraught father added: “What I am going to celebrate now—my son’s death, all preparations had gone in vain, we will be preparing for wake and funeral.

Police believe both Goodridge and Patrick fell asleep. There were no brakes impressions on the road, police investigators said.

Investigators were also unable to find Goodridge’s driving permit and the car’s insurance certificate.

The deaths of the two youngsters threw the entire Robinson Lane into mourning. Tents were being sent up to prepare a wake for the duo who lived not too far from each other.

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