ONE Coast Guard sailor is dead and three others remained fighting for their lives at hospital up to press time last night, following an accident along the Priority Bus Route in Arouca yesterday.
The dead sailor has since been identified as Miguel Daniel, of La Horquetta. Daniel was among six Coast Guard personnel, including two women, who were involved in the smash-up around 9 a.m.
The others have been named as Karen Adams, Josette Richardson, Roelle Edmund, Justin Bishop and Kevin Robertson.
According to reports, from the Coast Guard, the group were proceeding east along the bus route, when the Toyota Land Cruiser Daniel was driving collided with a vehicle that was crossing the bus route.
"The collision caused the Coast Guard vehicle to lose control, mount the concrete road barrier and plummeted into the nearby river. Subsequently, all six sailors were transported to the Arima Hospital. Four sailors were deemed critical by medical authorities.
"Two of the most critically injured were air-lifted from Arima to West Shore Medical Hospital by the NSOC (National Security Operations Centre) helicopters.
"The other two seriously injured were transported to West Shore Medical via Air Guard and Emergency Medical Services ambulances," said public relations officer with the Coast Guard Lieutenant Kirk Jean-Baptiste in a release.
He said, Daniel, the driver of the vehicle, who almost severed his right arm, died while undergoing surgery. The Express understands that he died sometime after 2 p.m. His death has pushed the country's road fatality figure for the year so far to 128, according to an Express tally.
"Assistant cook Karen Adams underwent surgery for serious abdominal injuries. Able Rating Josette Richardson has severe trauma to her left foot, and other injuries to [her] hip and shoulder. Able Seaman Edmund was experiencing severe vomiting and a mild concussion.
"Able Seaman Justin Bishop was examined at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) and discharged, and assistant electrician Robertson is warded at the EWMSC for further examination, X-rays and to be kept for observation," said Jean-Baptiste.
Following the accident, police officers, fire officials and the Emergency Health Services arrived on the scene within minutes and removed the injured officers and the civilian driver from the vehicles and rushed them to the Arima District Hospital.
After being treated at the institution, the officers were placed in ambulances and transported to the Arima Savannah, where they were placed in helicopters and air-lifted to the other medical institutions around midday.
Jean-Baptiste said: "The Defence Force wishes to express our heartfelt condolences to the family and colleagues of Able Seaman Miguel Daniel in their time of grief, as we mourn the passing of this dedicated sailor. Our support continues to go out to the families of the other five sailors as we continue to give support and offer prayers in their time of need."
This is the second accident involving members of the Defence Force in as many weeks.
Around 6.45 p.m., on September 2, 23 people—17 soldiers, two Coast Guard officers and four civilians—were injured in an accident in Charlotteville, Tobago.
In that incident, a military vehicle carrying members of the Trinidad and Tobago rugby team crashed into the hillside while travelling along a hilly area.
Seventeen of the injured had to be taken to Scarborough Hospital following the accident. Eight of them sustained "serious injuries" and were evacuated by NSOC, National Helicopter Services Ltd helicopter and the Air Guard C26 aircraft to Trinidad for medical care. They have all since been released from hospital.
Arouca detectives are investigating the latest incident.