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Mother and daughter die in highway crash

Saturday, August 18, 2018
Aarti Sarah Basdeo, right, and her mother Lutchmin Rampersad. Photo by:Marvin Smith

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Arrive Alive president Sharon Inglefield is urging victims of vehicular collisions on the highway to refrain from walking out onto the roadway when possible. She made the plea following the tragic deaths of Aarti Sarah Basdeo, 25, and her mother Lutchmin Rampersad, 52, yesterday.

Inglefield said that depending on how badly the person is hurt and based on the condition or location of the crashed vehicle, he or she should remain inside of the wreck and call for help.

Reports stated that around 4.30 am yesterday, Basdeo, of Rousillac was driving a white Nissan Wingroad along the south-bound lane of Uriah Butler Highway with Rampersad, of Penal, in the front passenger seat. While approaching the Chaguanas overpass, there was a collision with a black pick-up which was parked on the highway, close to Chaguanas exit.

The pick-up was said to have been left there after it was involved in a prior accident. Basdeo ran out of the vehicle after the collision but was struck by an oncoming pick-up and thrown forward. That driver stopped a short distance away.

Other motorists stopped to assist and the Chaguanas police and Highway Patrol Unit were contacted. When they arrived, they found Rampersad dead in the front seat.

Basdeo, who was on the roadside, was taken to hospital where she died hours later. Inglefield told Guardian Media that walking onto highways with four to six lanes is extremely dangerous and motorists and their passengers have to be careful when getting out on the highways during any situation.

She called for more patrols on the highway.

“Once again, we make an appeal to the police to be out in the night. We also encourage the Government to pass the speed legislation that will include ticketing by camera, wherein the cases where the police can’t be in certain places at nights, the cameras can pick up those who go above the speed limit and break traffic lights,” Inglefield said.

There have been several other survivors of road traffic accidents who have been fatally knocked over by passing vehicles. Just last month, businessman Javed Hassanali, 37, was killed when he was struck by a white wagon as he stepped onto the San Fernando Bypass. Mere seconds before, Hassanali had accidentally veered his Toyota Hilux into the median of the bypass. The driver that struck him never stopped.

Inglefield said that in many cases, accidents survivors who walk onto the highway are struck by speeding motorists. She said that anyone struck by a vehicle travelling at a rate between 50-60 kmph has a 50 per cent chance of survival while being hit at 80 kmph mostly ends in fatality.

“Motorists on the highway need to be driving within the speed limit and take road conditions into consideration. If it is wet, you do not necessarily drive at the speed limit, you adapt to the conditions. You do not speak on your cellphone and you stay aware of what is going on around you. At 4.30 am, you should be aware that the lights are very tricky and you need to make sure that the portion of the road you’re driving on is well lit and the road condition is good.”

She also said that utility poles are placed too close to the roadside and often times when people accidentally veer on the road, they crash into poles, which often results in death.


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