AMAZING ESCAPE: Taxi driver suffers only minor injuries after devastating collision

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

A TAXI driver is nursing “minor” injuries after miraculously surviving a devastating collision with a Bahamas Waste trash collection truck on West Bay Street yesterday afternoon.

Police said the taxi driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the point of contact and the force of the impact flung him into the rear seat.

The injuries he sustained as a result of the severe accident were said to be non-life threatening, and he was transported to hospital for further medical evaluation and treatment.

Though the nature of his injuries were not confirmed up to press time, one officer said the taxi driver sustained injuries on his arm that may or may not require stitches, while another officer said he only had a limp.

Chief Superintendent Craig Stubbs, the officer in charge of the Traffic Division, said the driver of the Bahamas Waste truck was pinned inside the vehicle due to the collision, but was ultimately extracted by Fire Services personnel.

He was also transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. However, the Bahamas Waste truck sustained “significant” damage, especially to its front left side and undercarriage, CSP Stubbs said.

Meanwhile the taxi was a complete “write-off,” CSP Stubbs said, as The Tribune understands that after it collided with the Bahamas Waste truck, the larger vehicle continued to roll over the top of car, completely ripping it to shreds.

Yesterday’s collision came less than 24 hours after seven people, inclusive of three children between the ages of four and seven, were hospitalised after the car they were in collided with a Casuarina tree on Saturday evening less than a mile away from where yesterday’s accident took place.

When The Tribune arrived on the scene yesterday, one of the car’s doors could be seen wrapped around the stump of a tree to the northern side of the east-bound lane near the accident. The car’s engine hood had been blown off and was lying just feet away from the rest of the wreckage.

The car itself was an absolute wreck. Numerous passers-by expressed utter shock after finding out that the driver of the taxi had managed to survive, and were even more surprised after discovering he had only suffered relatively minor injuries.

CSP Stubbs told reporters that both vehicles were traveling east along the West Bay corridor on Sunday, the truck in the southern lane and the taxi in the northern lane, when for reasons police are still trying to determine, both of them collided.

He said the taxi driver was not wearing a seatbelt as required by law, but said based on the wreckage, it would have likely been more to his detriment if he was in fact wearing one, as he would have likely been pinned in the front seat.

Nonetheless, CSP Stubbs said he and his division are “concerned” about how motorists drive their cars on dual carriageways.

“People tend to accelerate more than the required speed limit to either get in front of a vehicle or pass a vehicle,” he said. “We’re asking you to obey the speed limit, exercise caution at all times.”

Just hours earlier on Saturday evening, a car with seven occupants was traveling in the west bound lane on West Bay Street near the Wendy’s restaurant when the driver lost control and collided with a Casuarina tree. All seven occupants were sent to hospital, and according to CSP Stubbs, both the driver and the front seat passenger were still said to be “very ill” in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH). He said officers are currently trying to determine whether speed or the driver being “distracted” caused and/or contributed to the accident.

Then on Friday night, a man was struck and killed by a motorist on San Salvador while walking on that island’s highway.

According to CSP Stubbs, the deceased was walking on Queen’s Highway sometime before 10pm when a Ford Explorer, headed in the same direction, struck him. The pedestrian was transported to the local clinic where he died sometime later.

CSP Stubbs said a team of officers from his division travelled to San Salvador to investigate and have since returned. He said his division will await the confirmation of a few other details, such as the vehicle’s speed, before it decides whether to charge the driver or place the matter before the Coroner’s Court.

Last Thursday, 25-year-old Keshawn Lightbourne, an employee of Mr Ship It, died following an accident on John F Kennedy Drive.

At the time, officers said it was too early to say what caused the accident, which culminated in the victim’s 2007 Honda Accord hitting a utility pole, but said speed may have been a contributing factor.