Student dies in Portland crash
A male student from Titchfield High School died in a motor vehicle crash along the Black Hill main road in Portland, yesterday, while 23 other students had to be hospitalised.
The deceased has been identified as 13-year-old Pranjil Jasti, a grade seven student.
According to the police, shortly after 3 p.m., the students were aboard a Toyota Hiace minibus, travelling from Port Antonio to Buff Bay, when upon reaching a section of the Black Hill main road, the driver failed to negotiate a corner.
The bus reportedly flipped over three times before tumbling off the road and then landing in a precipice.
"This is the same bus driven by the same driver that was earlier prosecuted for transporting 27 students in a 15-seater minibus," said Duane Wellington, commanding officer for Portland.
"Clearly, the bus was overloaded. And although I have not been officially informed as to what led to this fatal accident, I continue to urge drivers to desist from overloading their vehicles. A number of students have been hospitalised, with two being singled out as serious cases."
Rodaine Taylor, who was bathing in a nearby river, said that he heard the loud crash and ran to remove the students from the wreckage.
"It was just blood all over, and the students dem a scream and a bawl fi help," Taylor said. "I just had to help. I saw students with blood all over, and a student was lying down still. I have never seen so much blood from mi born."
Twenty-four students from Titchfield and Port Antonio High schools were rushed to the Port Antonio and Annotto Bay hospitals. However, Jasti was pronounced dead on arrival.
Twenty-three students have been hospitalised, along with an adult female.
Additionally, the driver and conductor of the bus are now patients at Port Antonio Hospital. Both are reportedly in critical state.
The Portland police are investigating.