Four other persons injured in the crash are reported to be in critical condition at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in Mt Hope.
Relatives yesterday said the three women, Melissa Dehere, 29, Aliyah Charles, 17, and Alisha Britney Noel, 23, were best friends.
Dehere was pregnant with her first child. She and Charles were cousins and lived with relatives at Nicholas Street, Carenage. Noel, their close friend, lived at St Ann’s Street.
The women were passengers in a 12-seater yellow-band maxi taxi driven by Tom Daniel, 46, of Lady Hochoy Circle, Cocorite. Daniel was proceeding west on the highway, at about 11.30 pm, and as he approached the Trincity Circular Road intersection, he crashed into a lamp pole on the median. The maxi taxi crossed the median landing on the opposite lane, slamming into a truck driven by Lincoln Boodoo, 59, of Victoria Village, Cross Crossing, San Fernando, according to police reports.
Noel, a passenger in the maxi taxi, died on the spot, while Dehere and Charles succumbed to their injuries at the EWMSC while undergoing emergency treatment.
Daniel and Boodoo were taken to the EWMSC and remain warded in critical condition. Two teenagers who were passengers in Boodoo’s truck also sustained injuries. Their identities were not disclosed, although police report they were from Forres Park, Claxton Bay. The teenagers are also in critical condition at the Mt Hope medical facility.
Relatives of the three women said they had hired Daniel to take them to MovieTowne, Invaders Bay, Mucurapo at about 7.30 pm on Tuesday. He returned for them after they had seen a movie, Dehere’s father Bernard said yesterday. Daniel, however, had two new passengers who had hired him to take them to Trincity. He asked the three women to go with him to drop off the two passengers before taking them home in Carenage.
“That was when the girls obliged and said it was okay, that they will go for the drive to Trincity and then the maxi driver will drop them home. It was a drive that they went on and never returned,” said Bernard. “The three of them were always close and always limed together. Even in death, they have gone together.”
Noel’s relatives described her as “a very ambitious young woman” who was training to be a welder. “She was not working but was learning to weld because she loved it. She was a very jolly person and was always looking after the younger children whenever she was called upon to babysit. She loved to lime with Aliyah (Charles) and Melissa (Dehere),” a relative said.
Charles’ father, Derek, said the teenager was one who liked “the lime light”.
“She always wanted to go and lime, to go here, there and everywhere but she was a very nice child, who was loved by everyone. She was my only daughter but lived with her grandparents. Her mother lives in the US and is expected to come here for the funeral.”
The wreckage of the maxi taxi and truck were taken to the Arouca Police Station where officers are continuing investigations. The three women’s deaths took the road fatality to 64.