Emotions ran high this morning as residents of Sea Lots Port-of-Spain blockaded the highway leading into the city to protest the deaths of a mother and two daughters near the Central Market. This image shows a candle in memory of the deceased family, placed on the blocked highway. Photo by MICHAEL BRUCE
Sea Lots Protest: Jack Meets With Residents
...rage over crash deaths
Richard Charan Multimedia Editor
ENRAGED over the crash deaths of a woman and her two daughters yesterday, Sea Lots residents this morning blocked the highway leading into Port of Spain.
The protest paralysed commuter traffic with vehicles at a standstill along the highways leading from south and east Trinidad.
The action of residents came as an apparent surprise to law enforcement, who scrambled to deploy special units, with the help of soldiers, to clear debris from the road.
National Security Minister Jack Warner made an announcement that the Priority Bus Route would be open to all traffic until the blockades
were cleared. However, the PBR was said to be also gridlocked, with some people opting to walk into the city.
Warner asked that officers use restraint, in order to avoid any confrontation between the people and police.
This afternoon, Warner, accompanied by Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams and Chief of Defence Staff Kenrick Maharaj met with Sea Lots residents.
Express senior photographer Micheal Bruce, on the scene this morning, said that the protest began at around 5. a.m with residents setting fire to mounds of debris along the highway in the vicinity of Sea Lots. He said many demanded a personal meeting with Warner, and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Yesterday, police used tear gas and rubber bullets during the protest over the deaths of Hady Paul, 28 and daughters Shakira, 7, and Akasha, 8.
They died at the scene after being hit by a runaway car driven by an off duty police officer, while standing on the pavement near the Central Market.
Three other person were also struck and critically injured. Residents this morning said that 13 persons had died in the vicinity of yesterday's crash, and they wanted the immediately start to the construction of a walkover.
Residents said that Hady Paul was among the people involved in a protest three years ago, calling for the construction of a walkover.
Warner told residents this afternoon that while he could not give a timeline for the building of the walkover, it would be done in the shortest possible time.
Express photographer Micheal Bruce said the highway reopened shortly after 9 a.m today, as the protest broke up. However, residents have promised to return.
- come back to this story for updates