A month before he was expected to lose his job with the shutdown of the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, Petrotrin welder Jefferson Ogiste ended up dead when the car in which he was traveling ran off the San Fernando Bypass and ended up in a ditch.
The driver of the car, who absconded following the crash, remains unidentified.
Another passenger, Akil Williams, who suffered injuries to his head and legs, remains warded in a stable condition at the San Fernando General Hospital.
Police said around 830 am, officers from the Mon Repos Police station responded to an accident at the San Fernando Bypass near the Pleasantville traffic lights. Witnesses said a silver Nissan Teana heading south careened off the road and struck an electricity pole, knocking off power in several parts of the city.
The car ended up in a ravine.
The driver fled the scene, leaving Ogiste and Williams behind.
In an interview, Ogiste's cousin Tricia Purcell said it was uncertain whether Ogiste died before or after the crash. Saying she did not know why the driver absconded or whether Ogiste knew the occupants, Purcell said they were awaiting the results of an autopsy before they could piece together the last moments of Ogiste's life.
Purcell said Ogiste was one of many who is expected to be out of a job when the refinery closes by October 1.
She said he was concerned about his family and on Thursday he gave his sister some money to buy school books for his two daughters aged four and eight.
Purcell described Ogiste as a hardworking man who had a close relationship with his family. She said he had no runnings with the law and was committed to his children, both of whom lived with his mother Veera Ogiste at Solomon Street, Princes Town.
The damaged vehicle has been removed for forensic analysis. Investigators said a trace revealed that it was not stolen.
An autopsy is scheduled to be done on Ogiste's body at the Forensic Sciences Centre on Monday.
Anyone with information on the crash can contact Crimestoppers at 800-TIPS.
- by Radhica De Silva