Deadly accidents leave Trinity South towns in mourning
Two young males from Winterton and Cavendish die in separate incidents
Two communities in the Trinity South region continue to grieve following the death of two young males in separate motor vehicle accidents in recent days.
And police are also issuing warnings about the use of all-terrain vehicles on public roadways following a serious ATV-motor vehicle collision in Carbonear.
The most recent tragedy came during the early hours of Saturday, Nov. 16 when a 23-yearold male resident of Winterton, driving along Route 80 on the south shore of Trinity Bay, cut a swath through the trees just outside of New Perlican before plummeting some 100 feet into the ocean.
The car landed 30 feet from the cliff face, say those familiar with the scene.
Winterton town councillor Hilda Green said the community is “devastated” by the passing of one of their own.
“Everybody feels their pain,” she said last week. “We’re a sad community right now.”
In a town of just under 500 residents, the community is close-knit. A funeral service was planned for Wednesday, Nov. 20.
“Everybody knows everybody,” said Green. “The community is still in shock. We’re trying to stick together for the family. It’s going to take time.”
The Trinity Conception RCMP received the call just after 3 a.m. on Nov. 16. Members of the New Perlican, Winterton and Heart’s DelightIslington volunteer fire departments also responded.
Ray Walker is the public relations officer with the Winterton Volunteer Fire Deparment. He said the accident was a difficult one for everyone involved.
“It’s always tough when it’s in your area and you know everyone,” said Walker.
He praised the work of his department in dealing with the tragedy, calling members “a really tight bunch of firefighters.”
When the trucks returned to the fire hall, said Walker, “Everybody said, ‘Now, what can we do for the family?’”
The road was closed for two hours while crews attended to the accident, which remains under investigation.
It was three years ago that a woman went over the cliff in the same area. She managed to get out of her vehicle and make it to the roadway to call for help, but was not seriously injured.
It was the second loss of life on the region’s highways in a week.
On Nov. 9, a 26-year-old man from Cavendish died in a single-vehicle accident on the Heart’s Content barrens, a desolate stretch of highway between Victoria and Heart’s Content. The deceased was the lone occupant.
Road conditions were described as good at the time, and police say excessive speed does not appear to have been a factor. Again, an investigation is ongoing.
While both accidents involved young people, police are not ready to say they represent a worrying trend among young drivers, said RCMP Cpl. Ken Coish.
Accidents in the region were not limited to cars. A 23-year-old Carbonear man was also injured on Nov. 17 after his all-terrain vehicle collided with a vehicle in the vicinity of Crowdy Street-Bannerman Street.
A family member told The Compass the man suffered a broken leg, and several skull fractures.
The incident is a stark reminder of the dangers of using these off-road vehicles on public streets, said Const. Coish.
“Especially in the Harbour Grace, Carbonear and Victoria area, it is quite common and we get a number of complaints,” said Coish.
Often, the hands of the police are tied when it comes to ATVs, since officers will not engage in a pursuit, fearing it may lead to an accident and possibibly injuries or death.
“We can activate our lights, but if they decide they’re taking off, we shut her down right away,” said Coish.
Meanwhile, a 12-year-old boy from Salmon Cove was injured after being struck by a vehicle on Nov. 14.
RCMP were called to the Salmon Cove area just after 8 p.m. The boy was riding his pedal bike along the main road when the incident occurred.
Police say the boy was wearing dark clothing.
The boy was transported to the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St. John’s with non-life threatening injuries. One of those injuries is believed to be a skull fracture.
Members of the RCMP attempt to reconstruct a fatal accident in New Perlican on Nov. 15. A 23-year-old man died after the car he was driving went over a cliff and into the water.