Injured children recover at home after Couva crash

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A vehicle transporting school children overturned along the Southern main road, Claxton Bay near Pranz Gardens. Photo by Lincoln Holder

Ten children, aged six-14, who were hurt in a collision on their way to school on Monday are recuperating at their homes.

None of them had life-threatening injuries, the police said. All except one, a 14-year-old girl, were examined and given the all-clear to go home that day.

The girl was kept overnight at the San Fernando General Hospital for observation. On Wednesday, a senior policeman confirmed she had been discharged.

Eight of the children attend primary schools in the California/Couva area and two attend secondary schools.

Monday was the first day of the school year.

Just before 8 am, the private bus carrying them crashed on the Southern Main Road in Savonetta, Couva.

The police said the driver, 32, from Claxton Bay, was heading to Couva, a short distance from Pranz Gardens, taking the students to their schools.

Investigators believe he lost control and the bus veered off the wet road, flipped and landed upside down in an overgrown area.

Other drivers stopped and helped the children out of the bus. Officers from Mon Repos, Savonetta and Couva fire stations responded.

Some children were taken to the hospital and others to the Couva health facility.

The driver was also treated and discharged the same day.

PC Mansingh of the Couva police station is leading investigations.

On Tuesday, the day after the crash, the Route Three Unified Maxi Taxi Association called on parents andguardians to ensure their children travel only with “H”-registered vehicles.

A statement listed several advantages of travelling in”H” vehicles. One is that the insurance policy covers passengers.

“Therefore, in the event of an accident, all medical expenses will be compensated by the insurance,” the statement said.

It added that “H”-registered vehicles must be inspected by the licensing authority every 12 months, while “P” or “T” vehicles are inspected every two years.

“Therefore, this allows the passenger to feel a bit safer knowing this vehicle has to be up to standard to be allowed on the nation’s roadways.”