Sugar Ray Thomas
Grand Bahia Principe Hotel is not strange to controversial or tragic news.
A fatal crash that involved a coaster bus owned by the hotel which resulted in the death of two employees on Tuesday night, November 22, was not the first time that employees from the hotel died in fatal crashes.
Approximately ten workers have died in road fatalities since last year.
The common thread that connects them all is that they were employed to the Grand Bahia Principe Hotel.
SPANISH WORKERS KILLED
One of the most horrific crashes to involve employees of the hotel was on March 1, 2015.
It claimed the lives of four Spanish-speaking overseas workers employed to the hotel. The Toyota Yaris motor car, in which the four men were travelling, crashed into a tractor trailer on the Braco main road in Trelawny.
The four dead men were identified as: Sergio Gonzales, Garvin Arias and Ruiz Farael of the Dominican Republic and Oliver Torres of Spain.
Reports from the Trelawny police were that at about 4:35 a.m., the four were travelling east, from Montego Bay when the car drifted into the path of the International truck which was heading in the opposite direction.
The truck overturned but the unidentified driver and a female passenger apparently suffered only minor injuries and were treated at the nearby Falmouth Public General Hospital and sent home.
It was reported that blood, crushed bones and chunks of human flesh scattered across the crash site, which signaled the horrifying evidence of the violence of the smash that police immediately attributed to bad road conditions caused by early morning showers and possible speeding in an area known as an accident zone.
FOUR WORKERS KILLED TOO
Tuesday night, June 21, 2016, it was a similar story. Four workers of Grand Bahia Principe Hotel died as a result of injuries in a three vehicle collision on the Llandovery main road in St Ann often referred to as a crash hot spot.
Those killed at that time were: 21-year-old Michael Glasgow of Village Green, St Ann’s Bay, St Ann; 22-year-old Eric Forbes of Steerfield, St Ann; 24-year-old Jaynor Powell of Charles Town, St Mary and Teisha Douglas from St Thomas.
Reports vary about what happened, but it was believed that the Honda Civic — which had six persons on board and was being driven by Glasgow — was overtaking a car when it got out of control and collided into a truck travelling in the opposite direction. The Honda Civic was shoved into a Toyota Corolla motorcar.
All six passengers in the Honda Civic motorcar were cut from the vehicle and rushed to the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital.
Eric Forbes, Jaynor Powell and Teisha Douglas were among those who were pronounced dead at the hospital.
The driver, Michael Glasgow died some hours following the crash on Wednesday afternoon, June 22.
TWO FEMALE WORKERS KILLED TOO
Fast forward five months later and employees of the Grand Bahia Principe Hotel are grieving yet again.
The hotel’s coaster bus crashed into a parked truck on Tuesday night, November 22 killing two young female workers in the prime of their life.
Those killed in the crash were: 23-year-old Jodian Duncan, a waitress of Exchange, St Ann and 24-year-old Shanique Grey, a member of the kitchen staff, from Oracabessa, St Mary.
Reports indicate that at about 11:45 p.m., Duncan and Grey were among ten passengers on board a 29-seater Grand Bahia Principe staff bus travelling east towards Ocho Rios.
The bus later collided into a truck, which was parked in the vicinity of the Pearly Beach property on the Dunn’s River main road.
Jodian Duncan died on spot and had to be cut from the wreckage, while the other female died at the St Ann’s Bay Hospital.
Eight other employees of the hotel and the driver were treated at the hospital and released.
The Road Safety Unit (RSU) says preliminary investigations indicate that faulty judgment on the part of the bus driver caused an accident.
The driver was warned for prosecution as investigators are still collecting statements in the matter.
Several suspicions and speculations and stories about the supernatural have swirled in the public arena since that fatal crash which has caused people to reflect on several Bahia related incidents.
The hotel stands high, beautiful and majestic in Pear Tree Bottom, Runaway Bay, St Ann, but tragedies seem to accompany the hotel from days gone by with its construction. In August 2, 2006, construction was suspended due to an incident which resulted in the death of one worker and injuries to some 15 employees.
The death and injuries resulted from the collapse of a concrete structure being erected, towards the end of the work day, at about 5:00 p.m., on August 2, 2006. The persons who were injured were being treated at the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital.
Then in October, 2015, when the hotel was being expanded, another construction worker died, but this was not heavily reported in the media.
Also during the construction of the hotel, there were reports of persons seeing ghosts on the site.