Police issue warning after deadly weekend on the roads

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Hyundai Elantra involved in the crash that killed Jeraldin Matamoro, 25, and Akel Mark Thomas, 28, in Chaguaramas on Sunday. – Photo by Faith Ayoung

THE police are appealing to the public to use the roads with greater care and caution after three fatal road traffic accidents took the lives of four people last weekend.

In the first incident, around 5.45 pm, on May 25, Randy Thomas, 52, of Maraval, was riding his motorcycle east along the North Coast Road, just before the lookout, when his bike reportedly skidded and he fell into the path of a van going the other way. Thomas was fatally injured and died on the way to hospital.

On May 26, at around 2 am, 29-year-old Chris Ragoonanan, of Harmony Hall, Gasparillo, was driving a white Hyundai Accent, together with front-seat passenger Anita Mitchell, 34, of Union Park East, Marabella, along Union Road, Marabella, when she lost control and hit the concrete wall of a hardware store.

Ragoonanan died on impact.

Later that day, at around 8.20 pm, 28-year-old Akel Mark Thomas of Patna Village, Diego Martin, and Jeraldin Matamoro, 25, of Haleland Park, Maraval, were in a Hyundai Elantra heading easter along the Western Main Road, Chaguaramas. Near O2 Park, Thomas allegedly tried to overtake a line of traffic but lost control and the car swerved off the road and flipped into the sea.

Fire Services personnel and civilians tried to resuscitate the couple after they were retrieved from the water but both died.

The four weekend road deaths bring the current road death toll to 41 compared to 42 for the same period last year.

Police road safety project co-ordinator Sgt Brent Batson said, “Although our enforcement efforts continue to target unsafe road use, road users do not seem to be receiving the message of the dangers of engaging in risk-taking behaviours on the roadways and sadly these preventable incidents continue to occur with immeasurable loss to families and loved ones.”

He said for 2024, police traffic units have issued over 3,500 speeding tickets to drivers, and over 9,000 for seatbelt violations.

“These are high-risk behaviours that can result in serious injuries or death on the roads.”

Snr Supt, Traffic and Highway Patrol Branch, David Powder said the police are engaged in a comprehensive approach to combating crime, which involves a heavy focus on road policing.

Drivers, he said, should expect increased road-check exercises.

He also appealed to drivers and pedestrians to support the police public safety efforts by complying with road traffic laws.