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Mar 20, 2014

School girl recovering following traffic accident in front of her school

Kyeisha Joseph

On Wednesday morning, eight year old Kyeisha Joseph got on her bus in Double Head Cabbage and headed for school in Ladyville. She got off her bus in front of Our Lady of the Way Primary School, but as she attempted to cross the road she was knocked down by a white SUV being driven toward Belize City. She received life-threatening injuries, including broken bones and a fractured skull. Her case is dire, and it highlights a greater danger. The school is located on the Northern Highway, where traffic flows continuously and fast. There is the need for a solution to what was always a tragedy waiting to happen. School managers say that they have sought assistance from the Ministry of works for years, but with no success. They want a pedestrian crossing, like the one right down the road at Ladyville Technical High School. Kyeisha’s accident has only intensified their cries for help. Mike Rudon was at the school today and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

This empty chair in the Standard Two class-room is where eight year old Kyeisha Joseph would normally sit. She is not there today because on Wednesday she was knocked down as she got out of her bus in front of the school at around seven thirty. Pamela Fitzgibbon, a vendor at the school, was there, and she rushed to the scene when she heard the impact.

 

Pamela Fitzgibbon, Vendor

Pamela Fitzgibbon

“The little girl come out, but I figure the speed the young lady was coming with because she neva brakes. When I hear the boom it hit her by the lamp-post – right by the lamp-post the father of the child came out of the bus and picked her up there, but the lamp-post. It looks like it dragged her because she was a small person.”

 

Kyeisha’s father was driving the bus which dropped his daughter at the school. She was immediately rushed to the BDF Hospital in the white SUV which hit her. She was then transferred to the K.H.M.H., where her condition has been upgraded to stable. That is good news, but no consolation to the school’s principal, who for years has been begging for a pedestrian crossing on the busy highway.

 

Carol Young

Carol Young, Principal

“I feel bad about it because for years we have tried to get the Ministry of Works to do something about the crossing. We had previously asked for a pedestrian ramp so that the children could cross because what happens is that we have a lot of students who are not from the community who come to school here. And they told us point blank that they can’t put one there.”

 

Pamela Fitzgibbon

“I’ve been at this school so many years. I was a school warden before I decided to work at the shop. I was here when the principal asked for a walkway for the children to walk and to slow down the traffic. The person at the ministry said that we would dig up the road and we couldn’t have it because the road would be condemned. And then Ladyville Tech High School came behind and they have a walkway for the students there. And our school is for primary school students, right…and they need the walkway because in the mornings it is very busy here…traffic is crazy here by the gate with people overtaking and overtaking….that’s all that happens out here. There is no policeman, no traffic man, nobody out here, and whenever the children and parents come off the bus over the other side of the road they have to stand there so long before somebody decides their mind to let them pass. That’s why I am vexed about it.”

 

There were no wardens on duty to cross students on the busy road on Wednesday. But the devastating wake-up call will ensure that that now changes.

 

Carol Young

“One of the things yesterday after the accident happened…we told the wardens that since our dismissal time is three o’clock in the evening, we asked them if they could come earlier, because their job description is from eight till four. So at the time of the accident not one of them was here yet. They were on the bus coming as a matter of fact. So we asked them if they could change their work schedule to suit the school.”

 

A few students who were at school early witnessed the entire accident, but they were too traumatized to speak about it today. They weren’t the only ones affected by Kyeisha’s brush with death.

 

Carol Young

“Well I think for the whole school, even teachers, because you know, every day we watch these children coming to school…as a matter of fact the children from far…we always look out for them because knowing they come from that far distance you know they want a good education. So our heart goes out to those kids because it’s not an easy thing to have seen that happening, much less see the child on the hospital bed because I went to see her yesterday and I couldn’t take it when I heard her screaming in pain, so I think the children feel that as well and I guess you know they are talking about it since yesterday and that’s not something nice.”

 

Kyeisha’s condition is stable and we are told she is recovering in the pediatric ward.

 

Carol Young

“The grandmother called about eleven o’clock today to say that she is much better. She slept well last night and now the bruises are really showing on her face and she still cannot open one of her eyes. But I think she is going to recover.”

 

Today Kyeisha’s classmates are in class like normal, but the empty chair is a reminder of the danger just outside the school’s gates, on the nation’s busiest highway. Mike Rudon reporting for News Five.

 

The driver of the white SUV has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. Kyeisha’s family has declined media interviews as they stand vigil at the K.H.M.H., praying for their loved one’s full recovery.

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1 Response for “School girl recovering following traffic accident in front of her school”

  1. Carlos says:

    Who was the driver of the vehicle?

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