Titchfield student dies in bus plunge

Observer correspondent

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

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BLACK HILL, Portland — One male Titchfield High student is dead and 23 others from that school, as well as Port Antonio High, are now in hospital after the minibus in which they were travelling plunged 70 metres into a ravine and landed on its four wheels.

The driver and conductor of the ill-fated bus have also been hospitalised.

The crash occurred minutes after 3:00 pm.

Rodaine Taylor, who said he witnessed the mishap, told the Jamaica Observer he was in a nearby river when he heard the sound of screeching tyres.

“I run out and I see it (minibus) start spin over and two more spins and land and mi run go a di bus. Mi see the driver and mi ask him if him alright and him seh 'mi inna excruciating pain',” Taylor related.

He said the window on the side of the bus was not broken, “so I kick it out and tek out some of the Titchfield students. Mi see the one that died mek the last kick about three times, and him deh right a the side yah so,” Taylor said, pointing to the side of the bus.

“We tek out some of the students to the road and other people come and help and dem tek dem to hospital. It happen fast, fast. I see about 12 schoolgirls. I see one lady and she mash up and one hand severed. It look like a show, like a movie,” he said.

The crash occurred close to the end of Black Hill as the bus failed to negotiate a right-hand corner, hit a tree and went into the ravine.

The name of the dead student was not released, and police on the scene confirmed that the 23 students were taken to the Annotto Bay and Port Antonio hospitals. Two are said to be in serious condition.

Previously, three other vehicles crashed in this corner which has a crack in the road. However, this is the first fatal crash.

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