Police warn against illegal racing after cyclist’s death

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Police are renewing calls for motorists to respect laws pertaining to hosting races and other events.

The call from the Head of the Traffic Department, Acting Superintendent of Police (ASP) Elson Quammie, came after 41-year-old Belmont resident Linton O’Marde died on the spot after he lost control of his motorcycle late Wednesday night.

A bystander was injured and had to be rushed to the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre for treatment. According to ASP Quammie, the incident occurred shortly after 11:30 p.m. at the John I Martin Race Track on All Saints Road.

He gave an account of what he observed when he arrived on the scene and expressed shock that persons were racing on the dimly lit track. “When I got there, I was informed that there was a motorbike race that set off, and then one of the persons lost control and was thrown from the bike and was pronounced dead on the scene after receiving a serious injury. He died on the spot,” ASP Quammie said.

“I am surprised, honestly, that anyone was even racing there, because as far as I know the track is dark; so how could you see to race? But I found out that they had indeed bet on the race for $1,000, and now this man lost his life for $1,000.”

The senior police officer said the race, at the John I Martin Race Track, should not have taken place without approval by the Commissioner of Police.

He added that this was not the first time similar race meets have been held on the fenced compound. “It is an enclosed area, and if you don’t go in you would not know that something is happening inside.

“So things like this have been happening before, but you have to write to the Commissioner to seek permission. The owners, since it is a private area, are supposed to write to the police if [they] are having activities which draw public [attendance]. You have to think about security, about safety … things like those should have the ambulance on site, the fire truck on site, just in case of anything. But all these things were not in place. It was an illegal race.”

Meantime ASP Quammie is appealing to the owners of the John I Martin Race Track to secure the premises so persons cannot enter the track at will to engage in illegal races.

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