One (1) man is dead, while two (2) others are nursing injuries, following a mysterious, fatal accident last week Saturday morning in Berrotte, St. David, which recorded the island’s eighth road fatality for the year.
Dead is Raymond Strachan, 59, a Taxi Driver of Perdmontemps, St. David, also known as ‘Panco’ and ‘Chow Chow,’ who met his demise just after 1:00 a.m., when the Noah mini-van he was driving, rolled uncontrollably, approximately 22 feet down a hill, colliding with a mini-bus before coming to a complete stop.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the mini-bus was at the time occupied by two (2) individuals, one (1) of whom sustained injuries as a result of the impact.
A few hours after the incident, photos went viral on social media accompanied by a video that was filmed while the firemen were on the scene where the mini-van toppled over, with the now deceased man.
As a fire truck pulled the wrecked vehicle back onto its wheels, Strachan’s body was seen in the video, hanging out head first, from the window on the driver’s side.
Police investigators have since launched a probe into the death of the St. David’s resident.
According to a release issued Monday by the Community Relations Department (CRD) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) an “autopsy and a toxicology report have been ordered.”
THE NEW TODAY understands that the incident occurred moments after Panco dropped off a friend at the Berrotte pasture following a night hanging out together.
The friend, Douglas ‘Skerit’ Alexander, 65, is now hospitalised at the St. George’s General Hospital on the Male Surgical ward, with a broken left knee, a fractured left foot and several bruises to his body, after he was knocked to the ground during the late night freak incident.
Still bemused, the retired mechanic, who felt fortunate to be alive, spoke exclusively with THE NEW TODAY, from his hospital bed on Monday.
“We were out playing pool in Madigras and we dropped (gave a ride to) a next friend up Madigras and then he drop me (home). We stayed (in the pasture) and talked for a few minutes, he was sitting inside the vehicle (in the driver’s seat) and I was standing outside the door on the front passenger side,” Alexander said.
“He (the deceased) didn’t really tell me where he was going but I told him to take it light going down, because I know normally, he would be by his friend in La Borie or his sister in Good Hope,” he added.
Alexander said that he proceeded to walk away from the vehicle in the direction of his home, but to his astonishment, within seconds of his departure, “I felt an impact and I ended up on the ground.
“I felt it (the impact) on my left shoulder…and I don’t remember anything else after that. I blacked out,” he recalled.
“When the ambulance came I asked, where’s Panco? And they said he’s dead and told me what happened but I can’t see that, I don’t know how Panco go (went) down there,” Alexander said in awe.
THE NEW TODAY has been unable to confirm the injuries sustained by the other injured man, who was one (1) of two occupants in the passenger bus, when the collision took place.
Speculation is rife that at the time of the tragic incident, the deceased was heavily intoxicated.
However, Alexander dismissed the notion stating, “I don’t drink rum…we had a few beers but I wouldn’t say he was drunk.”
The deceased, was a bus driver, plying the “number 4” St. Pauls/Perdmotemps/St. George’s bus route, up until approximately one (1) month ago, when he began his new career as a taxi driver.
“We grew up together; like brothers, we played marble, top, cricket, (just about) everything that boys did together,” Alexander told THE NEW TODAY, as he reflected on the life of his old time friend.
He said Panco will be remembered for his “friendly, humorous and generous” attributes.