KINGSTON — The conduct of public passenger vehicle drivers on the Brown’s Town to Ocho Rios route has again been thrown in the spotlight following a deadly crash, which claimed five lives Friday morning.
In recent times head of the St Ann police Superintendent Wayne Cameron has expressed concern about the recklessness of drivers plying the route.
The five people were killed about 6:50 a.m. Friday when the bus in which they were travelling developed mechanical problems and overturned along the Llandovery main road in St Ann.
Initial reports are that the drive shaft of the bus, which was heading to Brown’s Town from Ocho Rios, broke causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, which then collided with a Toyota Rav4 heading in the opposite direction.
The bus then overturned on the soft-shoulder. Dead are Odain Latty, security guard; Karene Johnson, principal of the Orange Hill Basic School in Brown’s Town, Charles-Anthony Jones and Kevin Minto. The fifth person is yet to be identified.
Seven students from various schools, including Westwood and York Castle High schools, were also in the bus. A student of the Lime Tree Garden Primary was said to be in critical condition.
The driver of the Rav4 received minor injuries.
Superintendent Cameron said speeding was an “apparent” factor. He added that the bus which should have been carrying 12 passengers had approximately 15 people, including seven children.
“It appeared that it lost its drive shaft and some other mechanical part fell off resulting in the driver losing control colliding in a vehicle coming in the other direction . . . then the bus landed in the soft-shoulder,” Cameron said.
“Speeding was an apparent factor . . . It’s not for a lack of the police presence on the road,” he added.
Meanwhile, several people, including family members of victims in the crash, who gathered at the St Ann’s Bay Hospital on Friday, spoke of the irresponsible conduct of drivers who ply the Brown’s Town route.
“Mi hate Brown’s Town bus dem,” one grieving woman stated to agreement of the crowd.