Unfortunately by the time the fire and rescue service, police convoy, ambulances with the EMS and other emergency vehicles arrived on the scene, the fate of four young men had already been sealed, as the crumpled bodies of three of the victims were scattered across the street, while the body of the fourth man, remained trapped in the car they were driving.
The rescue team had no choice but to cut its way through the vehicle to reach the lifeless body of the driver and owner of the vehicle, Maurice Rawlins-23 years old.
According to some witnesses and residents of the area, the incident occurred just after 11:00pm, on a busy Friday night, (8th October),at the entrance of Sandy Point known as Romney Ground, under the foothills of the world famous Brimstone Hill and right in front of the former J’ Place Restaurant.
The other occupants of the car, P 297, were Dexter ‘Govans’ James- 32, Damien Harris-23 and Lacento Bradshaw 23. The men were all residents of Sandy Point. One of the victims was the son of well known contractor, Mr. Lennox Warner of Sandy Point, while unconfirmed information states that the others were his employees.
It is said that the lone car involved in the mayhem, was travelling from the east, or from the direction of Basseterre, moving west into Sandy Point, before it started to lose control, as it sped past the B’s Gas Station, striking a wall and then a large poinciana (flamboyant) tree that borders the property of J’ Place.
From then on, it was fatal. Parts of the vehicle could be found in the tree, in the nearby field and strewn across the island’s main road. Some bystanders described the remaining portions of the vehicle as a crumpled piece of paper thrown to the wayside.
At approximately 11:18 pm the District Medical Officer Dr. Akin Oduntan, arrived on the scene, carried out his examinations and pronounced all four (4) occupants of the said car dead.
The motor car was also extensively damaged and measurements and other observations were recorded and the scene was processed by officers from the Crime Scene Department.
According to a police release, “The Coroner Mrs. Claudette Jenkins was informed and she gave permission for the bodies to be removed and so the bodies were subsequently removed under police escort to a funeral home. Thereafter the wrecked car was towed to a secure police location”.
It was a sad and very emotional scene, with family members of the victims arriving on location to verify the news and to identify the bodies. Many broke down and cried, only to be lifted and comforted by their friends and other family members who appeared stronger.
It was also a moment that seemed unbearable for even those not related to the victims, as some strangers in the crowd of over 300, shed tears as well. Among the many onlookers was the parliamentary representative for Sandy Point, Mr. Shawn Richards.
At around 2:00pm, the bodies were finally removed and taken to the Jenkins Funeral Home, on Market Street, in Basseterre. Investigations into this accident are ongoing.