Trinidad: Hit By Vehicle On Zebra Crossing… Josh-El To Miss SEA

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – Point Fortin schoolboy Josh-El Cumberbatch, who was struck by a vehicle last month, will not sit the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) on Thursday.

Josh-El, 12, still cannot walk and is in constant physical pain as well as being mentally traumatised over the ordeal, said his mother Oyasanya Ogunsiji in an interview with the Express yesterday.

Ogunsiji said she is hopeful that her son will be able to sit a make-up SEA examination next month as they await final approval from the Ministry of Education.

“He may be able to do the make-up exam, but if we do not get the documents filed within a certain time, then he will have to do it next year, through no fault of his. It could send him into a depression; it could interfere with him mentally. He is not the cause of this. I cannot see anything happening on Thursday. His only option is the make-up exam,” his mother told the Express. “He was sad, of course. He wants to write it with his friends.”

On February 19, Josh-El was struck by a vehicle while crossing the road on the zebra crossing in the vicinity of Vance River RC Primary School which he attends.

Footage from a security camera captured the moments when Josh-El, dressed in school uniform, had alighted from a 25-seater maxi taxi that had stopped on the road. On the opposite side, another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction stopped.

The video showed that while a third vehicle attempted to overtake the second vehicle, it struck the pupil as he attempted to cross the street.

Upon impact, the child was pitched into the air, while the vehicle that struck him crashed into a fourth vehicle at a standstill.

Josh-El was hospitalised for two days at San Fernando General Hospital and doctors found he suffered no broken bones, only tissue damage. He was discharged from the hospital after two days and has been recuperating at his home.

He has been using a wheelchair to move around, said his mother, and his next visit to the outpatient clinic is next week.

Ogunsiji said she expected to be updated by the school principal in the next few days on whether her son was approved to sit the make-up exam in April.

However, the mother knows that her son is still coping with the mental trauma of returning to school.

She said Josh-El has done one session of counselling with the school’s guidance counsellor.

“He is afraid of the road. He does not want to cross the road and go back there,” she said. “She (guidance counsellor) did not want to push him. Of course, he needs more than one session but she has to take her time with him. He is traumatised. Other than that, no, he has not done other professional counselling.”

Ogunsiji said no traffic wardens have been posted outside the school despite what happened to her son.

“What I heard is that they are going to paint and install proper signs, but I do not know of anything else,” she said.

The mother said the police have not been in contact with her regarding investigations into the case.