A sixty-three year-old Norwegian woman, who was struck and fell onto the ground by a motor bike along the Grand Anse main road last week Thursday (January 7) has issued a call for motorists in Grenada to drive with more due care and caution along the nation’s roads.
The incident occurred around 11:15 a.m as Karen Joy Kleppa was about to use one of the two pedestrian crossings close to the Post Office in Grand Anse to cross the road to catch a dog she was treating as part of a volunteer programme involving a veterinary group from St. George’s University (SGU).
Police later charged a male individual who is a resident of the United States for driving without due care and attention and driving without a license.
The matter was heard before Magistrate Tahira Gellineau at the St George’s No.2 Magistrate’s Court on the same day of the accident.
The accused was represented by Attorney-at-Law Peter David who told the court that at the time of the incident two buses had stopped on the pedestrian crossing to either pick up or drop off passengers.
He blamed the action of the busmen for the unfortunate incident as his client who was on the motor bike attempted to pass the vehicles.
The defendant was fined EC$ 600.00 to be paid forthwith, for the offence of driving without due care and attention, while the Court dismissed the driving without a driver’s license charge brought against him.
Kleppa told the court that she has been having chest pains since the incident and has sought medical attention and requested compensation to pay her medical bills.
However, the sitting Magistrate informed the Norwegian woman that she would have to seek compensation in a civil case against Joseph, as the Road Traffic Act does not provide for the Court to award compensation in such matters.
Kleppa, who is a member of the yachting community in Grenada, later told this newspaper that “the pedestrian cross walks (in the country) should be even more up-kept (and) freshly painted.”
She said she had “waited (for) about half a minute before some of the cars slowed down and stopped before crossing the road.”
According to her, when she reached about half way across (the road), where traffic was flowing in the opposite direction, the motor bike was driving past the cars that had stopped for her (to cross) and ran straight into her with the impact of the handle bars and mirrors sending her straight onto the ground.
“I went flying and landed on my hands and knees and my head went down in the road,” she told THE NEW TODAY.
“I need to find some way of getting compensation for the visit to the hospital, x-rays, medication and physical therapy from the Orthopedic to work with my joints afterward,” Kleppa said while expressing the hope that she does not suffer any “long term damages.”
The woman also expressed the view that “there should be easier ways for the victim to get the fees for their medical attention covered, noting that “it’s an emotional trauma no matter how big or small an accident is because you’re in a life threatening situation.”
“You know, you’re already working through the trauma and to have to go through that too (the paper work, hire a lawyer) and all the (other) complications is an added stress,” she said.
Kleppa , who was also involved in the recent search for Canadian citizen Linnea Veinotte, who recently lost her life after allegedly being struck down by a motor vehicle in Lance Aux Epines, called on motorists to do more “defensive driving” in the country.
” This is my thirteenth winter season here,” Kleppa said, pointing out that “there is speeding everywhere, whether it’s the (Coast guards) patrols on the water or the cars and the buses” on the roads.
“(There is) very aggressive driving here…I think that we need to change from aggressive driving to defensive driving,” she added.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the biker who caused the accident had offered to foot Kleppa’s medical bills following last week Thursdays court proceedings.
He was expected to return to the US on Sunday.