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3 die in crash

Families plead for end to drunk driving

By by Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

Three families have called for an end to deaths caused by driving under the influence of alcohol. 

And they are appealing to police to take their responsibility seriously by enforcing the laws against drinking and driving.

The calls came after three coworkers were killed in a crash along the M2 Ring Road, Debe yesterday.

Victims Rick Nash, 45, Reynold Manoo, 43, and Loren Lochan, 23, were burnt beyond recognition when the car in which they were travelling slammed into a lamp post around 3 a.m.

Police said Nash was driving his blue Daewoo car along the M2 Ring Road, when he lost control and hit the lamp post, causing the vehicle to explode on impact. 

The three died at the scene.

Relatives said the three worked as machine operators at Trinrico Wire and Steel Ltd at Reform Village, near Williamsville. 

Nash and Lochan lived nearby at Reform Village while Manoo lived at Garth Road, Williamsville.

Lochan’s close friend, Malina Singh, said she last heard from her at 1.30 a.m. 

Lochan had attended the funeral of schoolteacher Avianna Ramraj-Karim, who died mysteriously at a doctor’s office in Penal on Monday, Singh said.

“She went to the teacher’s funeral with friends and then they went liming. Loren said after the funeral they were liming and then they went to drop a friend home on Penal. They drop the friend off and were returning home,” she said.

Lochan’s mother, Chandanie Boodlal, said she had warned her daughter about drinking too much alcohol. 

“She liked to lime and drink. I told her don’t go anywhere yesterday, but she tell me she going by the bar to lime. I got up about 3 a.m. to open the door, because that is around the time she usually come home. But she didn’t come and I called her, but the phone went to voicemail. I didn’t think anything of it because when she is intoxicated she don’t answer her phone,” she said.

Boodlal said too many people were becoming victims of drunk driving. 

“She wanted to travel this year because she just get her passport. She was young and had so much to look forward to,” she said.

Boodlal said she identified her daughter by a gold tooth.

A short distance away, another family was grieving. Nash’s sister, Ann Marie Downey, pleaded with drivers to stop drinking and driving. “My brother left home around 5.30 p.m. (Friday). He didn’t say where he was going but I knew he had some drinks already. My daughter always talking to him about drinking and driving, but he never really say anything. There are too many accidents on the roads, something needs to be done,” she said.

Nash was not married and had no children.

And Manoo’s wife, Angela La Fortune, said she had warned him about drinking alcohol many times.

La Fortune, the mother of Manoo’s only child, said she last saw her husband on Sunday at a family outing at the beach.

“I talk to him about the drinking and liming and he said he wanted to change. He said he wanted to (get baptised) and give his life to God. I still can’t believe this has happened,” she said.

La Fortune said people were too carefree and it was time for them to wake up. 

“Things happen in the twinkle of an eye. You never know when the master will call you. I fed up talk to him about drinking. We were on a break and I was staying in Moruga with our 13-year-old son,” she said.

The three families were informed of the deaths by police officers who visited their homes at 5 a.m. yesterday.

The bodies were removed to the San Fernando Mortuary. 

Councillor for Reform/Manahambre, Ramesh Karapan, said he was saddened by the news. 

Karapan, who visited the families yesterday, appealed to drivers to slow down.

“We are losing too many young lives in accidents which are caused by drunk driving,” he said.

Police said seven people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol on Friday night. 

The drivers were stopped at a road block in Golconda and administered the breathalyser test. 

Police said seven drivers failed the breathalyser test and were detained at the San Fernando Police Station where charges were laid. 

They will appear before a San Fernando Magistrate tomorrow.

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