Ministry to provide funeral assistance for student victims of Rose Hall accident
The ministry of Education is to partner with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to provide funeral assistance for the three students who died tragically along the Rose Hall main road on Tuesday.
Education minister Ruel Reid made the offer during a visit to the John Rollins Success Primary School in St James yesterday, where the students attended.
He is expecting other stakeholders to join the Government in this gesture, stating that he would make sure that whatever the needs are, he would put things in place to assist.
The three students - eight-year-old Latisha Williams, eight-year-old Tiara Thompson and 10-year-old Tiana Thompson, were killed after the car they were travelling in crashed into a ditch, killing the driver, Kevin Hamilton, on the spot. Hamilton's son, Kevin Hamilton Jr, and Ashauna-Kaye Robinson were also injured in the accident and remain hospitalised.
Up to press time, Hamilton Jr was to be transferred from the Cornwall Regional Hospital to the intensive care unit at the Falmouth Hospital.
In the meantime, the school wants the funeral for the three children to take place on its grounds, a suggestion that at least one parent has agreed to, says principal Yvonne Miller-Wisdom.
"It would be staged in the courtyard," Miller-Wisdom told The Gleaner, adding that it would not be the first farewell ceremony to be held on the compound.
"The funeral for the first student who was killed in a motor vehicle accident on the Rose Hall main road took place here," she noted.
And while the school continues to mourn the loss of the young lives, Reid agreed with recommendations for the implementation of school zones and speed limits.
"Because it is something that while I was in the Senate previously, I had raised about defining school zones and ensuring that wherever we have schools, there is ... demarcation, and, in fact, limitation in terms of speed," he said.
Referencing the new Road Traffic Act 2018, which has now gone to the Senate for approval, Reid said he thought that there was a section that defined some restrictions in terms of speed in the vicinity of schools, "but I think that we need to make sure it's much better articulated in legislation".
He added, "We very much need to specifically define school zones and examine just how we operate on roadways in particular when we are carrying children."
As it relates to an overpass for the students crossing the busy Rose Hall thoroughfare, Reid said that he would be willing to support this but cautioned that it would involve approval by the National Works Agency and the municipal corporation.
"We would be quite happy to partner in terms of the construction," he committed.