When Larry St. Jean’s bus slid off the road and went rolling down a shallow precipice on the Trafalgar road, one thought kept tumbling through his mind – “if that doh stop rolling, well, I’m a dead man.”
Thankfully, St. Jean, who was not carrying any passengers at the time, did not die, but his bus was a total wreck by the time it came to a stop at the bottom of the slope.
Now, the Trafalgar bus driver is claiming that the accident was caused because of a problem in the road and is putting the blame squarely on the contractor responsible for works being done on the Roseau Valley road.
In an interview with DNO, St. Jean said he was traveling in the area called the ‘blind corner’ where there’s a huge bolder at the corner of the road, when he spotted another vehicle approaching.
“As soon as I bend the corner, I met a guy partly on the left hand side,” he recalled. Although, according to him, the oncoming driver was on the wrong side of the road, St. Jean said he thought he had enough time to stop in an effort to prevent an accident.
“So I tapped the brakes not really to stop, but to slow down the vehicle so the other driver could pass. I got carried away,” he stated.
St. Jean recounted being unaware of what actually happened before his bus went skidding out of control. “It was so strange, and the next thing I know, I was rolling down a precipice, and all I was saying ‘if that doh stop rolling well I am a dead man’,” he related.
He said he remembered kicking the door open when the vehicle finally stopped and climbing back onto the road. It was then, he said, that he saw what caused the accident.
“When I reach in the road I see the black thing, and I said ‘oh my God! That that do that to me nah? Without no sand, without no sign saying wet colass (asphalt) nothing?’” he said in disbelief.
According to him, reports were that the asphalt was applied late on Wednesday and the accident took place late Thursday about 5 pm. He is blaming the lack of warning and proper signage about the condition of that section of the road, for the accident.
He did not appear to be physically injured and was concerned about an already ‘bad knee getting worse with the accident’ but his fear was allayed when St. Jean was checked by a physician who told him that all appeared to be well. But his passenger bus, which was his only means of earning a living, was destroyed.
He said that he does not want to ‘have politics mixed up in the matter’, but is seeking compensation from the contractor since his primary concern is getting back his ‘livelihood’, the passenger bus which was destroyed in the accident.
He told DNO that a meeting with company officials failed to resolve the matter and he is now seeking a further audience with the ‘boss’ who is currently out of state.
Because the vehicle is over 5 years old and had not been reassessed lately, he will be receiving a lot less from his insurance company than what would be required to cover the cost of another vehicle, St. Jean pointed out.
He said he will seek legal counsel on the matter if his request for compensation from the contractor is not entertained.
When questioned about the other driver, St. Jean said the driver called out to him after the accident and when he found out that he, St. Jean, was alive, he left.