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2005-05-21 17:34:23

Savage Slaughter on Bahamas Roads

Another tragic hit-and-run traffic incident has left three dead, bringing the total killed so far this year to 24, a shocking and disgraceful number.

A blue and white Mack dump truck, from Island Pavers, was travelling east on John F. Kennedy Drive when it collided with a red Sentra travelling west.

Witnesses say the Sentra driver was driving recklessly, overtaking numerous cars while travelling at high speed. The Sentra swerved right to avoid the truck. However, it is claimed by witnesses that the dump truck swerved left and rammed the Sentra, which was "totaled" by the damage.

The truck driver, like the truck driver in the infamous red truck hit-and-run, left the scene of the accident, leaving three to die.

For nearly an hour five ambulances were on standby as rescue workers used the "jaws of life" in a frantic attempt to cut away pieces of metal that had created a prison around the Sentra passengers.

Next, a team of cars from Butler Funeral Home arrived to carry away the bodies that had been freed.

The Bahamas lost three children in this horrific accident; the driver, 25-year-old Clinton Lewis Grant Jr., and passengers Carla Dericka Bethel, 36, and Paulette Vilneus Davis, 36.

Officer in charge of police Burkie Wright said he doesn't want to say the driver had "fled" the scene as yet, but did mention that leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offence.

That is outrageous! If the driver of the dump truck wasn't there when Mr. Wright was there, then it is obvious he left the scene of the accident. Therein lies the real problem... the Bahamas police just don't take hit-and-run accidents seriously enough.

Why this problem keeps getting worse

When the victim of a hit-and-run incident recently asked the Cable Beach police why the driver that struck her car and left the scene of the accident, hadn't been arrested, she was told that leaving the scene of an accident, although criminal, was "not an arrestable offence."

What kind of hogwash is that? The victim thinks the driver wasn't arrested because she is white and the criminal driver is black. Another nod to the sick and dangerous racism that, many feel, has become an all too common practice by the government of the Bahamas.

The Bahamas government treats hit-and-run victims like they were "road-kill". They do absolutely nothing, save for the occasional lip service about new programmes and new legislation. The fact is... nothing ever gets done.

Meanwhile, rogue insurance companies, some so busy laundering money that they don't have time to manage their insurance portfolios, continue to allow hit-and-run-drivers to remain on the roads.

One particularly irresponsible insurance company, Security and General, is responsible for at least three hit-and-run drivers still being on the roads. The Road Traffic Department and the Bahamas Police are equally irresponsible, as they have failed to follow-up on the hit-and-run incidents and failed to prosecute the criminal drivers.

Until the Bahamas government acts against rogue insurance companies like Security and General; until the police do their job and prosecute hit-and-run drivers to the fullest extent of the law; we will continue to witness the savage slaughter of Bahamians on the roads of the Bahamas.

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