6 Jamaicans die in crash
NEW YORK – Six Jamaican nationals, including a pastor, were killed in a vehicular accident here over the weekend.
Police said that Bishop Simon White, 55, his wife, Zelda, 53, and four others died Saturday when their church van blew a tyre on the New York State Thruway and flipped over several times.
The others killed were identified as Associate Pastor Titus McGuire, 66, Avril Murray, 65; Evelyn Ferguson and Bishop White’s sister, Elaine Reid, 65.
Murray and Ferguson had worked as missionaries in Jamaica and East Africa, while Reid was a nurse at a Bronx hospital. Eight other Jamaican-born parishioners travelling in the Joy Fellowship Christian Assemblies van heading to a church banquet upstate have since been hospitalised.
The driver, Bernard Lattibeaudiere, 52, escaped with minor physical injuries.
“This is a very difficult time for me. Everyone is distraught. I can’t talk about it right now,” he said.
Investigators have ruled out drugs and alcohol as a factor in the crash.
“That’s not even in question,” said state police Sergeant Lawrence King.
Bishop White and his wife had eight children.
Nine of the passengers, including five of the six who died, were thrown out of the vehicle.
The seat belt law requires only those in front to buckle up. (CMC)