Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 25th 2013 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, November 25, 2013
Police Constable Eustace Richards was
committed to his job and was looking for-
ward to moving up in the ranks.
However, Richards's aspirations were shat-
tered in an instant yesterday when he was
killed in a car crash along the Sir Solomon
Hochoy Highway in Ste Madeleine.
Police reports state that Richards, 46, of
16D Corinth Hills Housing Development, Ste
Madeleine, was driving his silver Tiida south
along the highway when he crashed into the
metal railing near the Harmony Hall, Gas-
Richards's car reportedly broke through the
barrier and crashed into an embankment off
The warrant officer, who had 23 years' serv-
ice and was assigned the Court and Process
Branch at the St James Police Station, died
on the spot.
Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) were seen
removing Richards's service pistol and hand-
cuffs from the wreckage afterwards.
Yesterday, his wife, Merlyn Cindy Hamilton,
along with relatives, went to the San Fernando
mortuary to identify his body. She said she
was too distraught to speak when the T&T
Richards's best friend, PC Sheldon Elder,
told reporters that Richards "loved his job"
and was a good father who took care of his
"There was commitment (to duty.) He would
always be there. He planned to move up in
the service. He wrote the corporal exam. With
23 years' service he was not going to leave,"
He said Richards, the father of one, was
originally from Toco.
Elder said Richards was his son's godfather
and he was godfather to Richards's 13-year-
"We were very close, we were like brothers.
It was a shock to me when they told me. I
was on my way to Arima when I got the call
and I came straight to San Fernando," he said.
He said Richards was heading home and
he believed that his friend fell asleep at the
"He was not a fast driver. He does not speed.
He was coming home from town (Port-of-
Spain) after working last night and he may
have fallen asleep," Elder said.
ASP Gaffar and Insp Deboulet visited the
scene along with officers from the Gasparillo
Cpl Robert Ramlogan is continuing inves-
Ramesar: Action on insurance
In an immediate response to the tragedy
yesterday, Police Social Welfare Association
president, acting Inspector Anand Ramesar,
called on National Security Minister Gary
Griffith to hasten his work to provide insurance
for all national security officers.
Ramesar, speaking with the T&T Guardian
by telephone, said at present officers are not
provided with insurance and have to take out
their own personal insurance. He said in cir-
cumstances such as Richards's death, there
is little the association can do for families.
"The association will make every effort to
support the family and friends of this officer.
It is often very tough for many families during
these unfortunate times, as the Police Service
is only able to provide short-term and often
insufficient support insofar as financial needs
are required," Ramesar said.
He extended condolences to Richards's fam-
ily and friends.
Ramesar described Richards as a very hard-
working and dedicated officer "whose loss
will have a saddening, rippling effect on the
hearts and minds of many."
He said Richards's untimely departure will
be tough for officers of the Court and Process
Branch who were in mourning, having lost
another colleague last week.
After working night shift in PoS...
Cop killed in South crash
Lives are being put at risk at Mara-
cas Bay because of lifeguard under-
That's the message from the Life-
guard General Branch wing of the
National Union of Government and
Federal Workers (NUGFW.)
A press conference has been called
for today to highlight the problem
and Augustus Sylvester, branch chair-
man, is expected to call on the Min-
istry of Tourism to double the number
of lifeguards on duty at Maracas and
Tyrico at weekends, the peak period
for large crowds.
In a telephone interview yesterday,
Sylvester told the T&T Guardian a
minimum of 14 lifeguards should be
on duty on Saturdays and Sundays,
at present there are only seven.
Part of the problem is that life-
guards based at Maracas are routinely
being deployed elsewhere around the
country due to shortages.
Sylvester questioned why up to 60
lifeguards who were trained up by
the ministry and who qualified in
April 2011 have still not been
"They refuse to employ them, we
don't know why when there is a
shortage," Sylvester said.
"We need a minimum of ten guards
for the two beaches, two operators
for the jet skis, plus a sentry and a
patrol captain to supervise. Not only
are the general public's lives at risk
the lifeguards them self are also put-
ting themselves in danger."
One of the risks highlighted was
that when a guard responds to an
emergency in the sea and there is no
back up. When people who have been
rescued from drowning are taken to
hospital they have to be accompanied
by a lifeguard also, which reduces the
Lifeguards are paid around $269 a
day, according to Sylvester, a salary
that he feels the ministry could afford
to pay to a larger workforce.
Meanwhile, the facilities for the
lifeguards are crumbling, despite con-
stant patch-up repairs, and need to
be demolished and rebuilt, according
to another member of the NUGFW,
"The building is in a terrible con-
dition," he said.
Lifeguard shortage at Maracas
puts bathers at risk, says union
South West Regional Health
Authority (SWRHA) CEO Anil
Gosine says pregnant Chase Vil-
lage mother Denise Diana Gor-
don-Boodoo, who died last week
under "mysterious circumstances,"
discharged herself from the San
Fernando General Hospital
against doctors orders.
Gosine made the statement yes-
terday in response to a Newsday
article in which Gordon-Boodoo's
husband, Sampson, claimed his
wife was sent home from the hos-
pital after labour was induced.
In the article, Sampson claimed
that his wife began complaining of
chest pains at their Church Street,
Chase Village, home last Wednes-
day and later died. Her unborn
twins died as well.
Yesterday, however, Gosine dis-
puted the claim that Gordon-
Boodoo was discharged by the hos-
He said there was no need for
any investigation into why Gor-
don-Boodoo left the hospital.
Gosine confirmed that the 26-
year-old woman was admitted to
the hospital and labour was
induced, but said she signed herself
out of the hospital.
He said an autopsy will be per-
formed on the woman's body today
at the Forensic Science Centre, St
James, to determine the cause of
He said he did not want to spec-
ulate what may have happened to
Gordon-Boodoo to lead to her
Yesterday, SFGH Medical Direc-
tor Dr Anand Chatoorgoon issued
a report on Gordon-Boodoo, in
which he stated that the 26-year-
old woman was referred to hospital
from the Freeport Health Centre
when she was 36 weeks pregnant.
He said at that time she was
found to be clinically well and was
offered to be reviewed in one week's
time. However, the report said she
never went back to the clinic.
Chatoorgoon said Gordon-
Boodoo turned up at the antenatal
ward 42 weeks pregnant with a
complaint of a wrist pain in her
right hand. "An ultrasound done
at that time revealed a single live
intrauterine foetus," he said.
"Because of her advanced state
of pregnancy, the decision was
made by her doctors at the hospital
to induce labour. While attempts
were being made to induce labour,
she decided, after being on the ward
for three days, to take her own dis-
charge, in spite of medical advice
to the contrary," Chatoorgoon said.
He said Gordon-Boodoo was told
of the dangers to both herself and
her baby, "which included the pos-
sibility of death to both mother and
baby, if she left the hospital. But
in spite of all the warnings given
to her (which warnings are docu-
mented in the notes by the doctors
looking after her), she still made
the decision to leave."
Chatoorgoon said, "She never
came back to the hospital."
SWRHA on pregnant woman's death:
She left the hospital
against doctors' orders
PC Rampersad at the scene of the accident that claimed the life of colleague, PC Eustace
Richards, inset, on the Solomon Hochoy Highway, near the Harmony Hall overpass yesterday.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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