Fiery US crash spoils Tabaquite family’s Xmas, birthdays

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Andrea Guiellemo, mother of Nadine Ramnarine is consoled by one of her daughters Pauline Rodriquez at their Tabaquite home on Monday. Ramnarine died in a fiery car crash in Las Vegas, Nevada with her two cousins and an aunt. Guillemo spoke with Newsday at her Tabaquite home. Photo by Lincoln Holder

On Saturday, from morning until night, a Tabaquite family repeatedly tried calling Janelle Nadine Ramnarine on her cellphone to find out how she spent the first night of her vacation in the US at her aunt’s home.

Unknown to the family, Ramnarine, her aunt Carlma Subero-Hardin, 53, and Subero-Hardin’s two daughters Dorietta Hardin, 17, and Ocean Hardin, 14, had been killed in a fiery collision on Saturday morning in Goldfield, Las Vegas, in Nevada.

Ramnarine was the mother of three boys, 14, 12 and two, and worked as a janitor. She lived with her husband and children at Whiteland, near Williamsville, and was originally from Tabaquite.

Ramnarine, 38, left Trinidad on Friday morning to visit her aunt, who had lived in the US for 22 years.

Ramnarine’s bereaved mother, Andrea Guiellmo, 73, said, “I did not want her to go, but I did not tell her. I heard about her trip a few days before she left. My husband (Sylvester Guiellmo), who is very protective of all his children, told her not to go. But she told him that she had already bought her ticket.”

Guiellmo has now lost her daughter, sister and two nieces.

“They were burnt beyond recognition.

“I last saw Nadine on Thursday,when she came home to see us. She left in one piece.

“I do not know how she will be coming back. I prefer her funeral to take place in Trinidad, but I heard it is very costly to bring a body,” Guiellmo told Newsday on Monday at the family’s home in Tabaquite.

Andrea Guiellemo, mother of Nadine Ramnarine. Photo by Lincoln Holder

“This is a very hard blow. But I have to face it…Since Saturday night to now, I have no zeal to eat. I have not eaten and slept properly.”

As tears rolled down her face, Guiellmo said the tragedy had spoiled the Christmas and upcoming birthday celebrations. Guiellmo’s birthday is in December and her husband’s later in the month.

The four victims were on their way to drop off some winter clothes for Subero-Hardin’s only surviving child, a 19-year-old son, at his university. The van and a car collided, and the van burst into flames on impact. The four died on the spot.

An initial report said someone in the car was taken to hospital. It is unclear if there were other occupants in the car.

Guiellmo recalled that her sister returned home in late September for a vacation. Subero-Hardin originally came for one or two weeks but spent over a month with friends and family. During her stay, Subero-Hardin bonded with her relatives, including Ramnarine, who drove her around.

Ramnarine’s sister Pauline Rodriguez said they last spoke briefly by phone on Friday at around 11 pm.

“She was a jolly person and was extra excited to go on the trip. She liked parties, parang and cooking. She was a family person and loved togetherness. She did not like to see people take advantage of others,” Rodriquez said.

“Nadine was last active on WhatsApp at around 6.30 am on Saturday. When Dad called me crying and asked if I got the message about Nadine, it was 8.30 pm.

“All I heard was, ‘Nadine dead.’

“I cannot remember what happened next. I don’t know if I dropped the phone. It was devastating. “

Relatives said the deaths had rocked Tabaquite, the hometown of the aunt and niece. Many people have been visiting the family to offer condolences. Many have also taken to social media to share memories of those who died.

When Newsday visited Ramnarine’s house in Whiteland, no one appeared to be home.