Cunupia man killed in Sunday crash, day after 4 hurt in same area

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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A CUNUPIA man died early Sunday morning after his car crashed into concrete barriers of the roundabout at the end of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension in Debe. In the same area, four men escaped death in a similar accident the day before.

Police identified the victim as Vinod Maraj, 38, Olive Drive.

A police report said Maraj was driving his Honda City car on the southbound lane and slammed into the concrete barriers upon reaching the roundabout at Gandhi Village. Maraj died at the scene. Cpl Boodoo of the Southern Division is leading investigations.

On Saturday, around 4 am, four men from Trincity were injured in an accident in the same area. The Suzuki car they were in crashed into the same concrete barriers.

Ambulances took the injured to the San Fernando General Hospital where they were treated for multiple injuries. At least one of the men was still hospitalised on Sunday, the police said.

There have been several accidents in this area, including fatalities.

On April 30, Yudesh “Andy” Sooklal, 45, of Carapichaima, was killed in an accident in the same area. He was driving his AD wagon, which crashed into the barriers and burst into flames. His body was burnt beyond recognition.

Oropouche East MP Roodal Moonilal, in a press release on Sunday, slammed Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan, alleging that under this minister, officials of that ministry removed or altered all safety precautions that had been instituted to prevent accidents and safeguard lives.

Blinking lights at the top of barrels toward the temporary end of the highway were removed, a floodlight was turned into the eyes of oncoming motorists, and relevant warning signs are much too small, Moonilal claimed.

The ministry, Moonilal said, also declined to place rumble strips, an important road safety feature which alerts motorists of potential danger by vibrating the vehicles.

There is also a need for amber lights toward the end of the highway as a further warning to motorists.

“In addition, the Government has clearly abandoned further construction of the highway, thereby turning the temporary Debe exit into the end of the roadway.

“The accident on Saturday and prior mishaps could have been averted if Mr Sinanan had implemented appropriate measures to caution motorists about the approaching turnoff,” Moonilal said.