THE State will spare no expense in ensuring the recovery of all those injured in the crash of a military vehicle in Tobago on Sunday, National Security Minister Jack Warner has said.
"The sky is the limit as far as their recovery is concerned," Warner said after visiting Lance Corporal Azrion Bodie at West Shore Medical private hospital located along the Western Main Road in Cocorite yesterday.
Around 6.45 p.m. on Sunday, a military vehicle carrying members of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force rugby team was involved in an accident in Charlotteville, Tobago.
Twenty-three people—17 soldiers, two sailors and four civilians—were injured as a result of the accident.
Seventeen of the injured were taken to the Scarborough Hospital following the accident.
Eight out of the 17 sustained "serious injuries" and were evacuated by National Security Operation Centre (NSOC), National Helicopter Services Ltd (NHSL) helicopter and the Air Guard C26 aircraft to Trinidad for medical care.
The injured were taken to West Shore Medical, Port of Spain General Hospital and Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope.
Bodie, who was listed as the most critical of those injured in the crash, was transferred to West Shore Medical.
Warner, accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Kenrick Maharaj and Major Roger Mc Lean, commanding officer of the First Infantry Battalion at Camp Ogden, visited Bodie around 1.07 p.m. yesterday.
Speaking to the media after the visit, Warner said Bodie sustained injuries to his head, chest, broken ribs, and a fractured left arm.
A tracheotomy was also done to help Bodie with his breathing, Warner said.
"We have been assured by the doctor that he will recover," Warner said.
Bodie was listed as "stable" yesterday, Maharaj said.
"Bodie is stable and we will see a strong recovery. He is a strong soldier, he is fit and he is 28 years old so that gives him the right combination for a rapid recovery," Maharaj said.
Bodie is scheduled to celebrate his 28th birthday later this month.
He is also expected to celebrate his ninth year in the Defence Force in a couple month's time.
Another soldier, whose identity was withheld yesterday, was considered the second most critical of those injured in the accident and was taken to Port of Spain General Hospital for a broken shoulder blade.
Coast Guard sailor Terry Lyn Anthony, 25, the only injured who was still warded at the Scarborough Hospital yesterday, was also listed in a stable condition.
Anthony is expected to undergo minor eye surgery.
"We are at this time reasonably in a comfortable place not in terms of normalcy but comfortable in terms of the quality of medical health care being provided and the quick response taken by the agencies both in Tobago and Trinidad to ensure people were rapidly moved to institutions for immediate attention," Maharaj said.
Maharaj blamed the "sharp bends" and the "narrow" roadway in the hilly Charlotteville area for the accident. Maharaj commended the driver of the military vehicle for his skill in preventing the accident from being worse.
"What the driver did, however, and this is commendable, he did well to keep the truck on the roadside and bank it against the side of the hill rather than going on the other side (the precipice) and have a greater tragedy befall us. So I commend him for his quick reaction and his competence in that regard," Maharaj said. Major Al Alexander, Civil Military Affairs Officer, denied claims being made that alcohol consumption was the cause for the accident.