Hanover residents bash NWA - Say road repair comes too late after fatal crash
Following a fatal motor vehicle accident which occured along a section of the Barbican main road in Hanover on Wednesday morning, angry residents protested yesterday morning, accusing the National Works Agency (NWA) of neglect.
The accident, which the residents say occurred due to several large potholes in the middle of the highway, claimed the lives of two motorists, and injured 18 other persons. The deceased have been identified as Everton 'Wanga' Riley and Kevaughn Sutherland.
Dozens of angry residents, including bus operators who were close friends of Riley, said the NWA turned a blind eye to the deplorable road conditions.
When our news team visited the area yesterday morning, several NWA workmen and flag persons were seen directing traffic, and filling out several huge potholes.
"A long time dem big pothole inna the road dung yah. A whul heap a accident happen true dem, but nobody neva dead, and dem neva see it fit fi fix dem," a disgruntled Lucea bus operator told THE WEEKEND STAR. "Right after the accident happen yesterday (Wednesday), dem sen man come dung yah, and dem start work immediately. So if nobody neva dead, dem wouldnu come."
Janel Ricketts, community relations officer for the NWA's western region, said that the loss of lives and multiple injuries are quite unfortunate, and expressed the NWA's sympathy to the loved ones of the dead and injured.
She said the Barbican road is one of several being targeted for repair under the NWA's first quarter Hot Mix programme. The programme is being done to the tune of $15 million, and the Barbican roadway work commenced yesterday.
The work involves preparation of the area, and patching using asphaltic concrete.
Reports by the Sandy Bay police are that Sutherland, who was travelling to Sandy Bay from Lucea, swerved to avoid hitting a large pothole while negotiating a slight curve.
He collided with the blue Toyota Hiace minibus, laden with passengers, being driven by Riley in the opposite direction. Both vehicles were severely damaged.
They were rushed to Noel Homes Hospital, where Riley and Suterland were pronounced dead, and 18 others admitted in serious condition.
Since the start of the year, 13 persons have lost their lives in nine separate road accidents in Hanover.