Thursday, February 22, 2018

Girl, 13, killed crossing Bus Route

...Mom: She was pulled out of my hand


DEAD: Thirteen-year-old Kadaisha Edwards who was struck and killed while crossing the Priority Bus Route on Thursday.

Mark Fraser

A proud aunt. A diligent pupil. A beautiful, loving young woman. 

These were the words used to describe 13-year-old Kadaisha Edwards who was killed on Thursday night in an accident involving a vehicle driven by a lance corporal of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force along the Priority Bus Route. 

Police reported that at about 9 p.m., Kadaisha was walking with her mother, Tessa Robertson, along the Priority Bus Route in the vicinity of Morvant Junction in a westerly direction, near the shoulder of the west-bound lane of the Priority Bus Route. They were headed to their home at Phase Five, Beetham Gardens. 

Robertson told police that, in the interest of keeping her youngest child safe, she decided to cross the road to the shoulder of the east-bound lane, so that they would be facing the direction of oncoming traffic as they walked home. 

Before she crossed, Robertson reported that she looked both ways by the traffic light, which the police report indicates was green at the time. 

To her right, Robertson said she saw a maxi-taxi which was parked near the shoulder of the west-bound lane of the Priority Bus Route, and to her left, she said the road was empty. 

The mother of three then took Kadaisha’s hand and began to cross the road. However, as they reached the middle of the Bus Route, she reportedly heard a loud screeching sound, and felt her left arm violently pulled, as a vehicle slammed into her teenage daughter. 

Kadaisha was thrown several feet into the air, before landing violently on the roadway. She  suffered severe injuries to her head, upper chest, arms, and legs. 

The police and emergency health services were notified, and a party of officers from the Morvant Police Station, the Barataria Police Station, and the E999 Unit responded. 

The teenager was rushed to the Port of Spain General Hospital but she died a short while after arrival. 

The vehicle involved in the accident, police sources said, was  driven by a lance corporal of the T&T Defence Force, who was at the time transporting a major to the T&T Defence Force building on Knox Street, Port of Spain. 

As of press time last night, there also remained some ambiguity relating to the exact moment when Kadaisha was hit. 

While a police report indicated the teenager may have let go of her mother’s hand and attempted to run back to the side of the road when the accident occurred, her mother insisted that she never released her daughter’s hand.

While Robertson was not prepared to speak to the media when approached yesterday morning at the mortuary of the Port of Spain General Hospital where Kadaisha’s autopsy was done, her eldest son, Javon Robertson, said his mother was adamant that “the car came out of nowhere, overtook the maxi, and hit Kadaisha while they were crossing the road”. 

“You see her right there. She is in a state of shock. All night she was out, from the hospital, to the police station, then back home, and then here. She lost her youngest child last night, and since then it’s just been pace. 

“She hasn’t even got a chance to properly sit down and mourn. Now I don’t know what the police would have said, and I wasn’t there, but from what my mother told me, they were crossing the road when the accident occurred. She said to her right she saw a maxi parked to the side and passengers were disembarking, and to her left it was clear, and they crossed. 

“After that she said she heard the screeching of the tyres, and before she could turn and see the vehicle, she heard the sound of the impact and felt Kadaisha pulled from her hand. She said like the vehicle had overtaken the maxi, and it hit Kadaisha head on, and she barely escaped with her own life,” Javon Robertson said. 

He noted that his sister was a Form One pupil at the Belmont Junior Secondary School, and described her as a loving and caring young woman. 

“She will be missed...greatly missed. I don’t know how else to say it. She was loving, caring, outgoing, just a normal teenager basically. She never really brought any of her friends home, but you knew she was loved, because she was always either on the phone, or on the computer playing games and talking to people. That or watching TV. The regular things that teenagers do,” her brother recalled.  

Javon Robertson noted that he recently had a daughter, and his sister was “supremely excited” about being an aunt. 

“She loved it. She was very excited at the thought of being an aunt and of taking care of her niece Janiya. Whenever we were over she always took care of her and wanted to hold and love up her niece, and now my daughter will grow up and won’t know her aunt,” Javon said. 

Contacted for  comment yesterday, Civil Military Affairs Officer for the Defence Force, Major Al Alexander, said he was aware of the incident and expressed condolences to  Kadaisha’s family. 

“I can confirm that an accident did occur last night and it involved a military vehicle along the Priority Bus Route. While at this time I don’t have the report on the accident, I can confirm that a military vehicle, driven by an officer who was transporting a major in the T&T Defence Force, did come into contact with a 13-year-old civilian who was crossing the roadway with her parent. 

“The civilian was immediately taken to the nearest hospital, however, she died shortly after arrival. 

“The police and the Defence Force are looking into the incident, so it will be a bit premature for me to comment further at this point in time. However, a life has been lost, and I want to express my condolences on behalf of the Defence Force to the family of the 13-year-old girl,” Major Alexander said.