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3 escape in highway holiday crash

Published: 
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Fire officers remove one of the injured from a garbage truck which overturned along the Solomon Hochoy Highway, Chaguanas, yesterday. Photo: MICHEAL BRUCE

A lucky escape for three men involved in a dramatic accident yesterday in Chaguanas was described as a Christmas Day miracle by eyewitnesses.

The three were travelling in the cab of a garbage truck on the northbound lane of the Solomon Hochoy Highway, just after the Chase Village flyover, around 2.30 pm, when it skidded across the median and ended up facing traffic on the southbound lane.

Eyewitnesses said the truck careened about 20 feet towards oncoming traffic before the driver attempted to make a U-turn, causing the vehicle to flip onto its side. It ended up on the median.

The driver’s arm remained pinned under the cab and fire officers, who were on the scene within minutes, used a crane to lift the vehicle to free the injured man.

The accident prompted several people to stop along the highway to witness the rescue efforts.

Eyewitnesses said that a combination of small miracles saved the lives of the three men and that of unsuspecting drivers heading south on the highway.

Eyewitnesses say one of the men catapulted through the windscreen, while the driver’s arm was trapped under the vehicle. Fire officers seemed unaffected as rain began falling during their rescue mission.

Curious onlookers argued with police on the scene, criticising their “lack of training” in dealing with crash victims and eyewitnesses. 

Police at the scene say that the men seemed “disoriented” and were unable to identify themselves.

Investigators on the scene credited the light Christmas Day traffic on the highway as the main reason no other vehicle was involved in the accident.

This near miss comes even as the police and road safety awareness group Arrive Alive have both ramped up calls for more road safety on the nation’s roads.

The most recent road fatality count stands at 143.

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