Young doctor dies in highway crash, family wants better safety devices


CNC3 – TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – Rel­a­tives of Dr Ra­jeev Ba­hall, who died af­ter crash­ing his car along the Uri­ah But­ler High­way, are call­ing on the author­i­ties to put up prop­er re­flec­tors on the con­crete bar­ri­ers which separate the high­way from turnoffs.

Ba­hall, 27, of Lange Park, Ch­agua­nas, died af­ter his sil­ver BMW crashed into some con­crete bar­ri­ers along the high­way around 1.14 am on Fri­day. Inves­ti­ga­tors said Ba­hall was dri­ving his sil­ver BMW north along the Uri­ah But­ler High­way near the Fac­to­ry Road, Ch­agua­nas, turnoff when he crashed in­to the con­crete bar­ri­ers.

It is be­lieved he was not wear­ing his seat­belt as he was thrown out of the ve­hi­cle. A dis­trict med­ical of­fi­cer vis­it­ed the scene and or­dered the body removed to the Foren­sic Sci­ence Cen­tre, St James. Ba­hall was un­mar­ried and lived with his par­ents Robin and Sal­ly Ba­hall and his younger broth­er.

His par­ents were in­con­solable yes­ter­day. His un­cle, Spe­cial­ist Med­ical Officer and Con­sul­tant Physi­cian, Dr Man­drek­er Ba­hall, said he on­ly recent­ly got a per­ma­nent job as a house of­fi­cer at the pae­di­atrics ward of the San Fer­nan­do Teach­ing Hos­pi­tal.

“Ra­jeev was al­ways pas­sion­ate about his pro­fes­sion.

He want­ed to be a doc­tor. When he fin­ished A-Lev­els, in­stead of wait­ing for a year he went to Bar­ba­dos to start his stud­ies right away. He grad­u­at­ed a year ago and he was do­ing re­al­ly well. He got the job in pediatrics last week,” the se­nior doc­tor re­called.

Say­ing Ba­hall’s death was a hard blow to the en­tire fam­i­ly, the un­cle added, “Just last week I saw him and I told him to work hard in pae­di­atrics. He was a very hum­ble guy. Al­ways will­ing to take in­struc­tions, very calm and not pushy. He was young and was al­ways will­ing to put in that ex­tra mile.”

Dr Ba­hall (Snr) said it was im­por­tant to put prop­er sig­nage and re­flec­tors on the high­way bar­ri­ers.

“All over the place we see these con­crete bar­ri­ers and there are no prop­er re­flec­tors to warn mo­torists. They have the me­di­ans but if you miss in the dark you can­not see the me­di­ans or the bar­ri­ers which sep­a­rate the high­way from a turnoff,” Man­drek­er said.

“They need to paint these bar­ri­ers bright and put in­di­ca­tors on the road.”

He not­ed that pub­lic in­fra­struc­ture must al­ways be main­tained to en­sure pub­lic safe­ty.

Con­tact­ed yes­ter­day, Min­is­ter of Works Ro­han Sinanan ex­tend­ed condolences to the fam­i­ly. With re­gard to the fam­i­ly’s call, Sinanan said he was un­aware of the fam­i­ly’s re­quests. How­ev­er, he said he will re­fer the sug­ges­tions to the traf­fic en­gi­neers and the Di­rec­tor of High­ways to make the rec­om­men­da­tion for bar­ri­er re­flec­tors and in­di­ca­tors.

On news of his pass­ing, Aneil Ma­haraj, vice pres­i­dent of Pre­sen­ta­tion College Alum­ni, who was al­so Ba­hall’s friend and school­mate, re­mem­bered Ba­hall as “al­ways a jovial char­ac­ter.”

“I’ve had the priv­i­lege of know­ing him since pri­ma­ry school and through the years of Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege, Ch­agua­nas, is where that broth­er­hood con­tin­ued to fos­ter. He placed in the top 100, un­ex­pect­ed­ly to him I should say and then con­tin­ued to achieve aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess through­out his pre­sen­ta­tion ca­reer,” Ma­haraj wrote in a trib­ute piece on so­cial me­dia.

“…He went on to study med­i­cine at the Cave Hill, UWI cam­pus where he grad­u­at­ed to pur­sue his med­ical pro­fes­sion. It is with great con­do­lences that we send con­do­lences to his fam­i­ly in this un­for­tu­nate time.”

Ba­hall’s death was record­ed as the 98th for the year so far.