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'Vigorous probe on'

By Jensen LaVende jensen.lavende@trinidadexpress.com

A VIGOROUS investigation will be done into the accident that claimed the lives of three people on Sunday morning, acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams promised yesterday.

Williams, who at the time was being interviewed by TV6's Morning Edition host, Hayden Blades, said the matter would be vigorously investigated by a superintendent of the Port of Spain Division.

He added that he was to receive an interim report yesterday morning, but attempts to contact Williams up to 6.40 p.m. yesterday to determine whether he had received the report were unsuccessful.

Williams was referring to the accident on Sunday morning which claimed the lives of Hady Paul, 28 and her daughters, Akasha, eight, and Shakira, seven.

Those injured were Amanda Lalla, alias "Roti woman"; Abbigail Assing; and Ryan Rampersad, alias "Dhal".

The accident happened just after 9 a.m. on Sunday, when an off-duty police officer, attached to the Transport and Telecom Branch, lost control of his vehicle while heading west along the Beetham Highway, mounted the sidewalk and slammed into six people—instantaneously killing the mother and her two daughters.

Following the accident, residents blocked the highway, in protest, and officers in riot gear responding by using tear gas and rubber bullets.

Residents have expressed concern the police abused their authority in attempting to quell the protest.

Williams told Blades he could not say whether the officers who responded to the protest used excessive force, as claimed by residents of Sea Lots, where the three victims lived.

He added that when the matter is investigated thoroughly, he would make the results available to the residents of Sea Lots and the necessary action taken, if needed.

Minister of National Security Jack Warner on Monday told the residents the construction of a walkover in the area was being considered by the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.

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