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Trinidadian Survivor of Hurricane Irma Dies On Jost Van Dyke When Brakes Fail On Truck

Trinidadian Survivor of Hurricane Irma Dies On Jost Van Dyke When Brakes Fail On Truck

DIED IN ACCIDENT: Samuel Don Ramtool. He was 61.

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ROAD TOWN, Tortola, BVI — A Trinidadian truck driver was killed in a freak accident in the British Virgin Islands on Wednesday.

Samuel Don Ramtool, 61, originally from Fyzabad which is about eight miles south of San Fernando, Trinidad was pronounced dead soon after the accident.

Ramtool is a father of three and grandfather of three. He immigrated to Tortola over 20 years ago with his family to work on the island. He made frequent trips back to his native Trinidad.

The family had planned to spend Christmas at their Barrackpore home but Hurricane Irma, which ravaged Tortola, prevented them from doing so.

Instead, Ramtool and his wife, Susan, had opted to stay in Tortola and rebuild their home there after it had been severly damaged by Irma’s passing. They were planning on visiting Trinidad for Easter.

Sadly, on Wednesday afternoon, Ramtool was driving his company’s truck on Jost Van Dyke island off the coast of Tortola when the brakes failed. The truck crashed and he died at the scene. Reports say Ramtool tried to jump out of the truck but was unsuccessful.

Police are still investigating the cause of the accident.

By John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.