Family members have identified the body of 23-year-old Andre Jabarry Gittens, who was the driver of the motor car in which four young people — including three Vincentian teenaged girls — tragically lost their lives early this morning.
It was around 10 a.m. when Gittens’ mother visited the scene, but was immediately overcome with emotion and had to be rushed for medical attention.
Other family members were also visibly distraught as some wept openly, while one of Gittens’ relatives offered up prayers. However, they were simply too devastated to speak to the media about the tragedy.
Gittens was the driver of a white Mitsubishi Lancer which collided with a champagne coloured Toyota Noah taxi around 3 a.m. Sunday, resulting in the four deaths.
Three Vincentian females — ages 17, 18 and 19 — also lost their lives in the fatal crash that has also left two Vincentian males — ages 18 and 21 — along with the 52-year-old taxi driver hospitalized. The dead girls were part of a seven-member group who were here since last December for an internship programme at the Crane Resort, St Philip and were due to depart the island this morning.
The news of their death has also come as a major shock for members of the Vincentian community.
Mark Padmore, the cousin of one the victims, spoke to Barbados TODAY at the scene.
He described his deceased relative, 18-year-old Carianne Padmore, as quiet and soft spoken and not one to engage in any mischief. Her internship at the Crane was in fulfilment of her ambition of becoming a chef.
However, her dream turned into a fatal nightmare last night, as the group of Vincentians decided to go partying ahead of their scheduled 9 a.m. departure this morning aboard a LIAT flight back home to Kingstown. Carianne’s mother is due to arrive here from St Vincent today.
In the meantime, lawmen are seeking to contact at least three other people who were reportedly travelling in the taxi at the time of the crash. However, those survivors apparently left the scene.
Police are therefore appealing to them and anyone else with information on the deadly collision to come forward.