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'No Real Changes' To Upcoming Labour Day Parade

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Police at the scene of the crash on Labour Day. Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune staff

By RIEL MAJOR

Tribune Staff Reporter

rmajor@tribunemedia.net

UNION officials yesterday said there would be "no real changes" to the upcoming Labour Day Parade following last year's tragedy.

Trade Union Congress general secretary Tyrone 'Rock' Morris said organizers are working to reduce vehicular traffic on the route, adding marshals will be appointed to promote vehicular safety.

Four women died and another 24 suffered injuries stemming from the June 1 incident.

Mr Moss said: "There are no real changes but right now it is just reducing vehicular traffic; we won’t be eliminating. One of things we have focused on is safety and having our marshals ensure that the various groups are operated in the manner that promote the safety of the (participants) in the march. We are asking members to reduce the amount of vehicular traffic at the parade.

"It’s really difficult to eliminate because there are various uses that vehicles are needed for, but our marshals have been given the jobs to ensure that persons operating the vehicles operate in a manner that is safe."

Last year, Travis Lamar Sawyer, of Silver Gates, was charged before Assistant Chief Magistrate Subusola Swain with four counts of manslaughter by negligence stemming from the June 1 incident, which also injured 24 people.

It is alleged that on the Friday in question, Sawyer, by means of unlawful harm, negligently caused the deaths of 41-year-old Tabitha Haye, 48-year-old Tami Patrice Gibson, 51-year-old Kathleen Fernander and 55-year-old Dianna Gray-Ferguson.

Shortly after 10am the annual Labour Day parade was walking north on East Street in the vicinity of Shirley Street, when a green Ford F150 truck, which was a part of the parade, descended the hill towards Shirley Street.

The vehicle, which at the time had no driver, ran into a number of people who were a part of the parade, resulting in them receiving injuries. The vehicle came to a stop on hitting a Nissan vehicle, parked in a nearby parking lot.

Yesterday, Mr Moss added: "We have addressed the question of safety and the use of vehicles. We don’t believe that the accident was a result of vehicles that we use on the parade per say. Of course, we wish to get closer to the way parades used to be held years ago which did not require a lot of vehicles, but we are living in a changing world where things are done differently."

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