Accident victim sponsored World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Chef Joe Brown of Jaffa had sponsored Arrive Alive's World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims for many years.

Today, he became a victim himself.

"It’s tragic he should lose his life on our roads," Arrive Alive's Sharon Inglefield said in response to the accident that killed Brown and BP employee Joanna Banks on the Beetham this morning.

A motorist plowed into a group of cyclists who were heading east along the Beetham Highway.

In a 2013 interview with the Trinidad Guardian, Brown had revealed that cycling along the highway on Saturdays was a big part of his routine.

"Do you know that saying—all things in moderation? That’s a crock. Do everything to excess,” Brown had said.

"Why waste time sleeping? You sleep when you’re dead,” he responded, after detailing his daily schedule. 

He had revealed that by 4 am he would be jogging around the Queen’s Park Savannah, and by 4.30 am he had made his trek to the Lady Young Lookout. 

By 7 am he’d arrive at the Queen’s Park Oval—heading to his restaurant, Jaffa, where he'd work sometimes an 18-hour day.

On Saturdays, he'd be regularly on the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, on a bike along with fellow members of the cycling club or just on his own, riding as far as he can.

He even went to England to compete in a 300-miler to be completed in 24 hours and with good cause, as it was a charitable race to raise funds for cancer research.

Not much is known about Banks, who is a manager at bpTT.

Inglefield said that to Arrive Alive's knowledge, the police and Fire Service responded quickly.

"Unfortunately, to our knowledge, T&T does not have independent trained crash investigators to analyses these types of FRTA (fatal road traffic accidents)," she said. 

She added: "However, we have faith that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) will follow the necessary procedures and conduct a thorough investigation to the best of their ability including breathalysing the driver, and examine all the cameras in the vicinity of this fatal collision." 

She noted that the 14 cyclists set out from the Queen's Park Oval this morning at 6.15 am with TTPS escort for their weekend ride. 

One of the cyclists said he heard a screeching noise before the car hit the group and tossed many of them into the nearby ditch.  

"Our condolences go out to the families of the loved ones lost on the Beetham this morning. Our condolences to the cycling fraternity. We are devastated by today’s events. Our thoughts and prayers are wish you," Inglefield said.  

She added: "Our roads continue to be a dangerous environment and we all have a responsibility, more particularly, drivers to respect vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians."  

- by Sampson Nanton


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