A passenger was killed and the driver trapped in the wreckage for more than five hours before being extricated after a 22-ton industrial crane, which reportedly had just arrived on the island for a Virgin Islands National Park project, flipped and slid off the isolated section of road.
ESTATE MAHO BAY ? One man died and another was seriously injured in an early-morning heavy equipment accident when an industrial crane flipped on its side going down a steep section of King Hill Road, Route 20, in the V.I. National Park and slid off the narrow road and down the embankment, on Friday, February 20, trapping two men inside of the cab in the heavily-forested valley above Maho Bay.
The accident was reported to 911 at 7:30 a.m. and it took rescue workers until early afternoon to free both of the victims from the crushed cab of the 22-ton industrial crane, which reportedly had just arrived on the island for a Virgin Islands National Park project.The driver was cut out of the crushed cab and transported to Roy L. Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas for treatment and initially was listed in stable condition.
When rescue workers were finally able to reach the passenger they determined he had succumbed to injuries suffered when he was crushed between the cab of the vehicle and the trees, according to one participant in the rescue.
Passenger Pinned Under VehicleArriving at the scene, the officers discovered that the driver and the passenger were trapped in the wreckage of the vehicle that was crushed against trees and wedged on its side on the steep terrain off the left shoulder of the road.
V.I. Fire Service, EMS and St. John Rescue, Inc. were all summoned to the scene of the accident to assist after V.I. Police Department officers received word from the 911 Call Center of an accident on King Hill Road at 7:30 a.m.
Members of St. John Rescue using the ?Jaws of Life? took approximately six-hours to extricate the men, due to the severity of the accident, the inverted vehicle and the terrain. The driver was transported Friday afternoon to the Roy L. Schneider Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
?We had to cut the cab open from the bottom,? one St. John Rescue member related of efforts to reach the victims in the crushed, overturned vehicle. When rescue workers were finally able to cut through the bottom of the cab they found the driver was seriously injured and the passenger was dead.
The injured man, whose name has not been released, was transported to the Roy L. Schneider Regional Hospital in the late afternoon where he was listed in stable condition.
The charred contents of the popular beauty parlor which was gutted by the Friday, January 23, fire are arrayed on the driveway of The Mongoose Junction commercial center on Route 20 in Cruz Bay adjacent to the second-story fire scene, above. A pile of shattered glass and charred debris awaits loading into a dumpster, below. The Northshore Deli has successfully reopened on the ground floor of the building as work continues to rebuild the only wooden section of the iconic retail complex.
CRUZ BAY ? An island dispute erupted in a bloody mid-evening assault in the center of Cruz Bay on Wednesday, February 18, which left high-season pedestrian and vehicular traffic being routed through the V.I. Port Authority facility at Cruz Bay Creek while authorities examined a bloody street front crime scene.
The pulse-pounding nightly music of Cap?s Place was interrupted when the attack, which began in front of Nature?s Nook produce stand in a well-lit section of the waterfront heavily-traversed by visitors walking to Mongoose Junction or traveling to and from the North Shore Road, Route 20, through the V.I. National Park, continued down the busy street toward the U.S. Post Office until it reached the popular street-front bar.
?There was blood all over the place,? said one observer. ?A pick-up truck was covered in blood and the guy was chased down the street towards Cap?s Place.?
?They closed the road and directed traffic through the Port Authority?s bulkhead parking lot while the police investigated before the street was washed down,? the eyewitness added.
Defendant Claims To Be VictimKenson Jolly, 25, was placed on $75,000 bail at his initial court appearance on Feb. 20 and ordered to appear at an arraignment on March 5 in Superior Court. Jolly, who told police he turned the tables on someone who attacked him, was being held in the St. Thomas Criminal Justice Complex following the machete assault.
The victim of the alleged Wednesday night assault, who was identified by police as Rupert Walters, was transported by ambulance boat immediately after the incident for emergency surgery at the Roy L. Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas. Hospital officials said the man was treated for cuts and a head injury.
Jolly complained to police that he and the victim had had an altercation earlier in the evening, according to court documents. The defendant said he walked away after being struck in the head by a man he said had antagonized him on an ongoing basis.
CRUZ BAY ? St. John taxi drivers and other parties interested in improving the flow of traffic and people near the busy Cruz Bay ferry dock appear to be getting things together ? with Senator at Large Almando ?Rocky? Liburd playing referee.
On Tuesday, February 17, the St. John drivers elected new officers and pledged to cooperate with the as yet unnamed association?s new policies.Sen. Liburd had warned St. John taxi medallion holders in an early February meeting that they were in danger of losing control over passenger pick up from the taxi stand on V.I. Port Authority controlled property on the Cruz Bay waterfront near the dock
?The group that previously worked to manage taxi traffic in Cruz Bay had fallen apart,? Sen. Liburd explained. ?I have conducted two meetings with the drivers over the past few weeks in order to assist them in reorganizing an association of St. John taxi operators.?
?I told them they had to come together and manage it properly or another entity would take over,? Sen. Liburd said.
Long-time taxi driver Dale Hendrickson, who was elected as secretary of the new St. John association, said he sees the reorganization as essential for the drivers and beneficial to the community as a whole.
?With the new association we can now negotiate with the Port Authority and have the taxi stand running as it should be,? Hendrickson explained.
?We are going to do our best to create a better service for the public ? both residents and visitors.?
The live camera watching Cruz Bay captured the aftermath of the collision of the Red Hook I with the Loredon L. Boynes Ferry Dock on Saturday, February 14, as the 4 p.m. ferry from Red Hook, St. Thomas, arrived at approximately 4:20 p.m., top photo. After the collision the vessel appeared drifted and nearly run into dinghy dock before the crew of vessel regained control and put the vessel in full throttle reverse, according to one photographer.
The incident is under investigation and the vessel is in dry dock undergoing repairs, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.
CRUZ BAY HARBOR ? After less than four months in regular service, the new catamaran ferry Red Hook I operated by Varlack Ventures is out of service after running into the Loredon L. Boynes Ferry Dock in Cruz Bay on Saturday afternoon, February 14, and suffering ?substantial damage? to its port pontoon.
There were reportedly at least two injuries among the 117 passengers, according to Ricardo Castrodad, Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Coast guard Sector San Juan.
The vessel sustained ?substantial damage to its portside pontoon,? and the vessel was in dry dock at week?s end.
?An investigation is underway,? according to Castrodad. ?We were notified immediately following the incident.?
?The investigation is being carried out by Coast Guard Marine Safety investigators from the Marine Safety Detachment on St. Thomas,? Castrodad added.
Although there were intimations the incident was caused by sea conditions, several photographs taken immediately after the collision show the vessel drifting towards the shoreline at Wharfside Village in calm waters before it reversed engines abruptly and inched back to the pier.
Even now it doesn?t seem like fifteen years ago that the fledgling annual Festival was started, but since then, we have seen it steadily take root with visitors and islanders alike looking forward to it. St. John is unique in that respect.
Many different events have been sponsored in the past: from Puerto Rican mariachi bands, arts and crafts from Ghana and Kakuta of the Maasai from Kenya, to name just a few, bringing a variety of other cultures to this small island, widening its vista while providing a platform for displaying the special music, arts and crafts of the people of St. John and the U. S. Virgin Islands.
Although staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers, the consistent sponsorship of the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, the Department of Tourism , and the local businesses has been, and still is, crucial to providing a high standard of professional artists and performers.
This year?s program, centered in Franklin Powell Sr. Park, Cruz Bay, kicks-off at noon on Saturday 14th February ? ?Children?s Day,? ? with the ?Love City Pan Dragons,? a children?s steel pan band, followed by a ?Children?s Choral Concert,? then ?Children?s Dancing? and finishing with a performance by the ?Love City Leapers,? a lively Children?s jump-rope team.
On Sunday at 2 p.m. there will be a Gospel Concert with choruses from local churches, followed by traditional island Quadrille Dancers. Then, in the evening, at 7.30 pm, at the St.John School of the Arts, there will be a most spiritually moving and uplifting film entitled: ?States of Grace,? introduced by the filmmakers Mark Lipman and Helen Cohen.