It has been four days since a devastating accident changed the lives of two promising young people forever and, except for brief comments from police in the hours following the tragedy, there is still no update on when the hit and run driver will be charged.
Following the accident, the Police Force’s traffic boss, ASP Rodney Ellis, said no charges would be levelled until their investigation was completed.
The charges the 45-year-old driver could face include leaving the scene of an accident.
American University of Antigua medical students Kenneth Matthew, 21, and Priyanjana Das, 19, were mown down and left for dead on the side of Friars Hill Road as they walked to their car after leaving a Stratos Bar and Lounge.
The driver, who is married to a senior member of the judiciary, turned himself in sometime after in the company of his attorney.
Both students were admitted to Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre in stable, but critical, condition and were placed on ventilators.
Das, who is right-handed, had to have that arm amputated due to the severity of her injuries after the massive impact of the middle-aged driver’s car on her small frame.
The 19-year-old’s parents have since arrived from Qatar.
Reports confirmed by Pointe Xpress indicate while she is now conscious, the teen is deeply traumatised and struggling to come to terms with her injuries.
Arrangements are being made to transport her to the United States by air for specialised medical treatment.
Matthew, on the other hand, is still breathing with the help of a ventilator. He remains stable but has shown no signs of recovery since the accident.
The United Arab Emirates citizen is believed to have suffered traumatic brain injury and arrangements are also being made to move him out of the country for advanced treatment.
Cabinet, meanwhile, received an update on the accident from Minister of Public Safety, Steadroy Benjamin, on Wednesday.
While no light was shed on the condition of the students in this week’s report from the cabinet, it indicated that, “Increased patrols to catch speeding drivers are likely to be instituted, and the Parliament may have to raise the amounts which accident victims can receive from Insurance Companies.”
Friars Hill Road appears to have become ground zero in Antigua and Barbuda for road fatalities, and in particular, those involving pedestrians being struck by motorists. More pedestrians, by volume, have been killed or seriously injured, along that road than at any other location in Antigua and Barbuda in recent years.
Meanwhile, national cycling star, Andre Simon, who was also severely injured in a hit and run in May this year is still struggling in his recovery.
He was struck from his bicycle by Hatton resident, Kenyatta Benjamin, who attempted to flee the scene after hitting Simon and his companions, Sean Weathered, Ghere Coates and Tiziano Rosignoli.
He has been charged only with dangerous driving.
For months, Simon has been battling a severe pressure ulcer or bed sore, which has been slow in responding to medical treatment.
Bed sores are caused when, normally after prolonged periods of immobility, blood supply is cut off to the skin. They are notoriously difficult to treat.
While he has made small improvements and can now open his eyes and breathe without the assistance of a ventilator, Simon, who suffered traumatic brain injury, is still confined to bed and is unable to speak or walk.
In September, his brother Dwayne said in one of the family’s regular updates to the public about Andre’s recovery, that he can communicate in a limited way through small head movements.
He was injured on the Sir Sidney Walling Highway.