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Sunday 25 March 2018

‘We are investigating’

ACTING Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams yesterday said the accident on Wednesday night, involving police officers, which claimed the life of Stacy Rique, daughter of Director of Operations in the Office of the Prime Minister Roy Rique, is being investigated and is being treated as an important case.

Speaking at the weekly police press briefing at Police Administration Building in Port-of-Spain Williams extended condolences to Rique’s relatives and said investigations are moving at pace to determine what caused the accident and who is culpable.

According to a police report, Rique, 36, of Broome Street, Diego Martin was driving her car in the company of her 36-year-old friend Ashelle Waddell, after leaving a business meeting at the Marriott Hotel at about 8 pm.

While proceeding across the Audrey Jeffers Highway at the traffic light intersection, near the Hasley Crawford Stadium in a northerly direction, her car was hit by a 20-wheeler, 56-tonne crane driven by Rodney Bissoondath and belonging to Junior Sammy’s Multi Lift. The mobile crane had a police escort.

Rique died instantly while her friend Waddell was taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where she remains warded in a critical condition.

Head of the Homicide Investigations Bureau, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Wayne Dick, who was at the scene of the accident on Wednesday night, appealed to motorists to obey traffic laws and exercise care, caution and courtesy to each other, when using the road.

“I urge all drivers, all users of the road, whether you drive, cycle or walk to please pay particular attention to the traffic situation, the traffic lights. Please pay particular attention to other users of the road as you never know what is happening in the minds of other users of the road,” Dick said. He too extended his and the Police Service’s condolences to the Rique family. Williams said it has since been confirmed there was a police escort for the crane. He said whether or not the police erred in this incident, will be discovered at the end of the investigation and appropriate action will be taken.

“Whether the police would have erred there, that will be discovered and the appropriate action if they would have erred, will be taken against the officers,” Williams assured.

He said there are rules governing how police address the issue of escorting these type of extra-large vehicles on the roadway, with a clear intention for safety and protection of the citizens who use the the roadway.

Police sources told Newsday a major aspect of the investigation is to ascertain who had right of way at the area where the accident occurred and also if the police escort for the mobile crane broke any of the traffic laws in relation to the traffic lights.

Newsday contacted Junior Sammy Multi Lift for a comment and was told by a representative that all senior officials had left for the day and no one but a senior official could give a comment.

At the end of yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Director of Communications Dennis Mc Comie conveyed condolences to Rique’s family on behalf of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.


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