A passenger involved in the accident at Eagle Hall early this morning where two
vehicles collided says that if more care had been taken by the driver approaching the
vehicle she was in, the accident which claimed the life of one man and put 32 others
at risk might not have occurred.
The 65-year-old Vonda Harris who was a passenger in the 4:45 a.m., Rock Hall,
said the crash between the Transport Board bus and minibus ended up in the area
just in front of the popular R.A. Mapp’s Bar & Grocery.
The minibus was driven by 37-year-old, Kelvin Hall of Airley Tenantry Road, Hinds
Hill, St Michael, and the Transport Board bus by Tyrone King.
George Anthony Blackman, a 62-year-old gardener of 7th Avenue, Harts Gap,
Christ Church, who was at the time, sitting at the back of the public service vehicle,
was thrown from that vehicle.
At her Orange Hill, St James home, Harris recounted to Barbados TODAY,
what she witnessed in the final moments of the accident which left her with a swollen
and aching right leg while she was on her way to work.
“I always keep my eyes open especially when it coming close to my location. [I
was] sitting in the second seat from the driver. As soon as the bus approach Eagle
Hall I hear this rolling coming and I hear somebody say, ‘Wait he gine hit into the bus?
“So eventually, I look round and open my eyes and I saw this minibus flipping to
come through. So I grabbled on the seat in front of me where it got the handrail and
then I hear the impact,” she recalled.
She said after the collision took place, she began screaming.
“I just grabbled again and hold tighter while I was down on my knees now [and]
down on people. The girl that side of me was down on the ground, I down on her
with my knees bend. After things quiet down then I eased back up and then I take my
hand and I feel and I say like my leg like it swell and I feel the pain,” Harris explained.
At that point, the scene on the bus was total havoc, fright, confusion and
people, including the driver, were crying out for pain, said the cook who works at a
restaurant in The City.
“When I do so and glance around, people all down pun the ground and everybody
hollering,” she said, indicating that she then sat down and calmed herself before
making a call home to notify her family members of what had taken place.
“Honestly, my cellular phone was in my bag but I could not touch it. Anyways, I
get out the bus and I went by a shop on the other side and I asked the gentleman for
a phone call to call home urgent and he said, ‘Sure use the phone’. But to tell you the
truth, I could not even touch the phone, my hand . . . he tell me give him the number
and I was real conscious enough to gave him the number.”
Though she was thankful that more lives were not claimed, the mother of four,
grandmother to seven and great-grand to one said: “When everything quiet down I
look and see him [Blackman] right behind the bus. Another one was lying, but he was
trying to move his hands and then one was flat on his face,” she said.
Harris was also grateful for a metal bar attached to R.A. Mapp’s Bar & Grocery
which she said she believed prevented the worst from taking place.
“If the shop didn’t have that iron bar to keep off the bus we would have gone
straight through the shop and it would be a lot worse. I feel myself that probably I
would have died. I would have gone long and left my four kids”. (AH)
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