Police name victims of Dominica cliff tragedy

The northern tip of Dominica, with a pin marking the accident spot. ©2017 Google Maps

The Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force has released the name of the five men who died in the horrific cliff accident Vieille Case on Sunday.

The group, all from Penville, were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in swerved off the road and fell into the sea in an area known as Ambas.

Mandela Ophar, 21, Clement LeBlanc, 22, Jean Louis Sango, 25, Jude Jean, 21, and 29-year-old Chris Marcellin were all travelling north before they perished.

WIC News understands that Mr Marcellin was the driver.

The accident was first reported to police at around 7am, police public relations officer Pelham Jno Baptiste said. The vehicle “drove off the road, through guardrails and descended over the cliff about 400ft feet” high and into the water below.

“The lifeless bodies of the five occupants of the motor vehicle were removed by members of the fire and ambulance service, members of the police force, and members of the public,” he added.

Outpouring of grief

While investigations into the cause of the crash are ongoing, tributes have been pouring in for the five men from home and abroad.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, in a statement hours after the accident, said: “It is with profound sadness that I inform all of a tragic accident which took the lives of five very promising young men from my constituency,” he wrote.

“Just last evening I spent a considerable amount of time with one of the young men as we met with the young people from my constituency. In fact he gave the welcome address at the forum. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the deceased. We all share in the pain and suffering.

“For me personally it can’t get closer. God shall give us the strength and courage to deal with this tragedy.”

Roosevelt Skerrit.

His sentiments were echoed by opposition United Workers Party Leader Lennox Linton, who said: “Our best wishes, thoughts and prayers for God’s guidance, support and protection to the relatives and friends of the five young brothers who lost their lives in that tragic vehicular accident in Ambas, Vielle Case this morning. May their souls rest in peace.”

The leaders of other Caribbean nations have sent their condolences to Dominica, including Prime Minister Allen Chastanet of St Lucia.

St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.

“We know the heartache that Dominica is suffering after losing these five young men in this way and right now I know that every St Lucian can sympathise with what they are going through,” Chastanet said.

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States issued a statement, saying the island was in the thoughts of every member of staff.

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