Mixed emotions surface in aftermath of tragic accident

POSTED: 05/11/11 11:43 AM

Police want trucks off the road at certain hours; controls started yesterday

St. Maarten – Less than one week after 12-year-old Silvia Lynch lost her life under tragic circumstances on the Sucker Garden Road, the driver of the vehicle is now a free man, the girl’s guardians are seeking justice and residents are speaking out.

The disparity concerning what exactly took place seconds before the accident and the accident itself is questionable, but what is clear is that someone lost a daughter in an accident that could have been avoided if the driver of the truck had exercised courtesy and consideration while approaching a parked school bus.

Rufino Arrindell- taxi driver

“I want to send out my condolences to the family of the little girl, but those politicians have to stop playing with the books, they are not abiding by the rules which clearly states that heavy duty vehicles are not allowed on the roads during certain hours.”

According to Arrindell, the drivers of those heavy duty vehicles know that they should not be driving during specified periods. “These guys also know that driving those trucks continuously for four hours will affect the brakes pads, but they continue to drive for ten hours and more,” Arrindell pointed out.

He could not refrain from comparing an accident that took place back in 2005 when the driver paid the ultimate price for his mistake to the one that took place last week.

“I am talking about the accident on the Pondfill when Mr. Pedro Cannegieter struck down the wife of a prominent figure on the island. So it seems like only when you knock down somebody that is politically affiliated that a driver can be prosecuted,” he concluded.

Rosalina- store clerk

“I find that it’s very unfair to the relatives of the little girl that passed away. I think that it is too early to set the driver free, instead he should be charged for vehicular manslaughter and spend some years behind bars, instead of just a fine and a suspension of his license. He did not even have his residence papers in order and his employers should be forced to compensate the family for her death.”

Jennifer- store clerk

“I think that the company the driver worked for is also guilty, they knew that he did not have his papers in order and they too should come forward and compensate the family and now he is free. Those drivers know that they are not supposed to be on the road between specific hours, but you can find them on the road during those hours because the government and the police not doing anything about it. All he got was a slap on the wrist, but something has to be done to stop this, the justice department has to do something about this because they have no respect for the laws.”


“Some of those truck drivers think that they are on a race course, but I also think that those pedestrian crossings should be painted over. The entire traffic system on this island needs to be regulated and as a parent I think that that driver who caused a child to lose her life should not be allowed to drive anything, much less walk the road as a free man.”

Ironically, the police traffic department has started to put things into perspective by enforcing the laws that govern the presence on the road of heavy duty vehicles during specified hours.

The open space on the Ring Road opposite the L.B. Scot Sports Auditorium served as the ideal spot for a control. Several heavy duty vehicles were ordered to pull over by officer Sprott yesterday afternoon.

“This operation is a response to the accident that happened last week in Sucker Garden. The traffic department has decided to enforce the law that every day between 6.30 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. and between 12 noon and 2 p.m., certain vehicles will have to be parked,” Sprott said.

Among the vehicles that that will have to comply with the existing laws are huge trucks, gasoline tankers, forklifts, overloaded vehicles and other vehicles that have the ability to stagnate regular traffic. This operation will also help to alleviate the heavy traffic pile up during the early morning rush hour traffic and the after school traffic in the designated areas.


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