Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves on Monday led the country in paying tribute to the five people who were killed when the vehicle in which they were travelling to a funeral overturned in Sandy Bay on Sunday afternoon.
“I am asking all of us in this period of mourning to be moderate in our utterances and to be controlled in our revelry. We know life goes on, but at moments like these and these tragedies hit home so directly, we have to sit and reflect and act accordingly, Ralph Gonsalves said in a somber statement on the state-owned NBC radio.
The authorities have identified those killed as Giovanni Barker, Ishmael Bruce, Elvis Harold, Collin Robin, and Kenroy Haywood/Phillips, while nine persons were transported to the Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre (MMDC) at Georgetown.
Parliamentary representative for the area, Nigel “Nature” Stephenson told the Searchlight newspaper that the community of Clare Valley was in shock and mourning. He said those killed were all males under the age of 40.
“The community is in shock and mourning. Clare Valley is a very small community and most of the people there are related to each other,” Stephenson told the newspaper late on Sunday night. He is encouraging his constituents to “be strong” and promised to do whatever he can to help them through this difficult time.
Witnesses said several people were pinned inside and under the vehicle and others were taken in private vehicles to hospital for treatment. Some of these critical patients have since been transported to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown,
The vehicle was said to be transporting persons to Owia for a funeral of murder victim Rohan “Charla” Rawlins, 43, who was shot and killed in Lowmans Bay on the outskirts of the capital on August 15.
In January 2015, seven students died when the bus in which they were travelling careened off the road in Rock Gutter, another area in north Windward, and ended up in the sea.