Maxi crushes Black Rock man in freak accident

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Theodore James, centre, was killed in a freak accident on Monday. –

A Black Rock maxi-taxi driver was crushed to death on Monday in a freak accident.

Theodore James, 71, of Fort Bennett, was fixing his blue-band maxi at a nearby garage when it fell on him.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

James’s niece Liz James-Mander told Newsday she heard about the incident shortly after 10am.

“Girl, I faint away. Is something we didn’t expect. I saw him up to this morning – normal, talk, everything,” she said.

James-Mander said the maxi had been in the garage for over a year.

“He was trying to fix the maxi for the longest while.

“Apparently the maxi was probably in a gear and he was trying to fix it, so as he went under and they started it. They didn’t know that would have happened. The maxi rolled. I don’t even know what caused it to roll.

“Is years he trying to fix it and nothing, it just never moved, so he is accustomed going below it to try and fix it.”

She said for the last couple years his maxi has not been working.

“Since the covid19 hit, the maxi has not been on the road, since then he has been trying to fix it.”

She said another man in the garage witnessed the incident and had to be taken away as he was traumatised.

Family and friends of Theodore James console each other at Fort Bennett Street, Black Rock where James was crushed by a maxi he was fixing on Monday morning. – David Reid

“He devastated right now, he’s out of it – totally out of it. He came to help him. And is not he alone, a next fella went to come back to help him. They were just at least trying to get the maxi to start.”

She said James wanted to fix the maxi as there were some complaints from people in the area about the unavailability of maxis to transport children.

She described the father of five as a very serious man.

“He was a man who was always on time – that is one thing. If he comes and he gives you a time or you give him a time and you’re not ready, he was going to go away. He was always particular about time – he used to leave people. He never use to play with time. He was very serious, but nice.”

James-Mander’s stepfather, Herbert Graham, said he was in total shock.

“Where you seeing that hose running, is wash I trying to wash down the blood.

“I don’t even know how to feel at this time. This just wasn’t expected – not to say that he sick and lie down, he was up and moving and now, ­bram, he dead. I see him just a few minutes before this happened.”

He added, “The maxi cannot tell the last time it moved from the spot. That is the whole fact of the matter: the maxi wasn’t working, so he use to work on it every day to try to get it to work. He accustomed going under it.”

The scene was visited by THA representative for Plymouth/ Black Rock Nial George and assistant secretary in the office of the chief secretary Certica Williams-Orr.

Police investigations are continuing.