PM Extends Condolences to Rio Grande Accident Victims


Prime Minister Bruce Golding has extended condolences to the families of the fourteen (14) persons who died, and several others who sustained injuries, after the truck in which they were travelling, along the Rio Grande Valley Road in Portland on Friday (Dec. 19), plunged into a ravine.
“It is a terrible tragedy, fourteen persons confirmed dead and a number of others injured. These are persons who were leaving the Rio Grande Valley last night, on their way to market in Kingston, when they met in this tragic accident,” Mr Golding told JIS News, shortly after viewing the accident scene.
“I really want to express my sympathy to the families. I spoke to some of the relatives already, … I want to speak with all of the families of all those who were killed. But I really want to express my sympathies to those who have lost their loved ones,” the Prime Minister emphasized, adding that at the time of speaking, equipment were on location trying to retrieve the truck from the ravine.
Prime Minister Golding indicated that members of the families will be consulted to determine “what assistance the government will be providing in this very difficult time”, adding that he will advise on this at an appropriate time.
He commended members of the adjacent communities, whom he said assisted the accident victims on Friday, noting that they worked under challenging circumstances.
“It was raining and, therefore, the slope was very slippery. But they went down there and they took out those who were dead as well as those who had survived, and helped to get them to the hospital. They really performed marvellously, and it is in times like these that the real goodness of the Jamaican people comes to the fore, and I want to commend them,” Mr Golding noted.
Member of Parliament for Western Portland, and State Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Daryl Vaz, who provided additional details on the incident, explained that the truck, which was laden with produce, was descending the Rio Grande Valley road, when it slipped off the road and plunged into the ravine.
“The road was wet and.. narrow. So the truth of the matter is, it (the truck) skidded and went off the road,” Mr Vaz stated.
He informed that the victims are residents of the communities of Comfort Castle, Ginger House, and Millbank, which are among the districts located deep in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley in Portland. Six of the survivors, who sustained injuries, were admitted to the Kingston Public Hospital, St. Ann’s Bay Hospital, and the Port Antonio Hospital.

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