KINGSTON — Death came quickly and brutally to four foreign nationals — three from the Dominican Republic and one from Spain — after their rented Toyota Yaris motor car crashed into a truck laden with sand along the Braco section of the North Coast Highway near dawn yesterday.
Blood, crushed bones and chunks of human flesh were all across the crash site, horrifying evidence of the violence of the smash that police immediately attributed to bad road conditions caused by early morning showers and possible speeding in an area known as a death zone.
The four dead men were identified as Sergio Gonzales, Garvin Arias and Ruiz Farael of the Dominican Republic and Oliver Torres of Spain.
They were all employed at a St Ann hotel. Trelawny police who put the time of the crash at 4:35 a.m., said the four were travelling in the direction of St Ann’s Bay when the car drifted into the path of the International truck which was heading in the opposite direction.
The truck overturned, but the unidentified driver and a female passenger apparently suffered only minor injuries and were treated at the nearby Falmouth Public General Hospital and sent home, Jamaica Observer sources said.
Meanwhile, a large crowd of onlookers swarmed the scene of the carnage, some expressing shock at the dreadful view of the mangled motor car and the overturned truck, which spilled most of its cargo of sand.
One extremely mutilated body remained inside the crumpled car for hours as it was feared the body was too cut up to be removed from the vehicle ahead of the arrival of the funeral home team.
“Organs, such as the heart and the liver ripped out of his chest. Him mash up,” a senior cop was overheard telling a motorist who stopped on the scene.
One man mustered enough courage to lift the sheet and view the mangled corpse pinned to the left rear side of the vehicle, only to jump back and utter a piercing scream at the nightmarish sight which could have come straight out of a horror movie.
Firefighters used their powerful hoses to spray pieces of steel, splintered bones, grease, blood and chunks of flesh from the roadway, while the police were kept busy maintaining the flow of the early morning traffic.
In recent years the Braco corridor, which is extremely slippery after a downpour, has been the scene of several deadly accidents. In 2013, now retired Senior Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis, then head of the Police Traffic Division, said the heavy deposit of dust particles on a section of the thorouhghway — caused by commercial activities in the area — could also be responsible for the spate of fatalities.
He was assessing the area after one such crash. Five-year-old Tyreese Levine, his brother 13-year-old Javion Stennett, both of Colluden, Westmoreland; 31-year-old Yvonne Robertson Hamilton of Bogue Village, St James; and Rachael Woodard of a United States address all died in that crash that involved a Toyota bus and a Toyota Tundra pickup.
One of the vehicles developed a skid following an earlier downpour, the police said.
Earlier that year, the area was also brought into national focus after Gloria Capleton, 76, of New York; Claudette Grant, 53, and Vanessa Brown, 34, both of Maryland, United States, all died in a crash along that thoroughfare.
Capleton, her daughter and granddaughter were passengers in the Nissan Tiida motor car that collided with a Toyota coaster on January 2, 2013.
In 2011, the police reported that four foreign nationals were killed, while four others — including three British residents — were hospitalized, following another motor vehicle accident involving a minibus and a pickup on the same thoroughfare.
Yesterday, head of the Police Traffic Division, SSP Calvin Allen, repeated the now familiar appeal to motorists to observe the speed limit and to be extremely cautious while driving along the nation’s roadways.
“These accidents are unfortunate. The police continue to plead with motorists to slow down so that they are in a position to respond to any eventuality,” SSP Allen begged, adding that the police had been stepping up their education programme, as well as their monitoring of hot spots across the nation.
The latest deaths catapulted the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents to 52 since the start of the year. Last year a total of 330 people were killed on the nation’s road, defying strenuous road safety campaigns to keep the death toll below the 300 mark.