By Jean-Paul Saint-Fleur
JACMEL, Haiti — At least six are dead and 72 left injured after a truck carrying mostly rara band revelers crashed and overturned late Saturday evening, according to eyewitnesses and authorities.
The fatal crash happened in Meyer, a village in Jacmel, at about 11 p.m. on Apr. 16 when the driver lost control of the red and black Mack truck. The vehicle turned over and pinned several people underneath. Witnesses at the scene said the driver appeared impaired and was operating the truck erratically.
Most of the passengers had been out celebrating rara, a customary procession of street bands many observe in Haiti around this time of year. The group was waiting for four vehicles to pick up band members and revelers at the end of the endpoint when the truck involved arrived.
Christophe Desiral, a local band manager who was in a truck behind the one that crashed, said the driver was “acting like someone drunk,” but insisted on driving to Cayes-Jacmel since he had brought it from the area.
“We have no idea how many people were on the truck,” said Desiral, whose band Inosan participated in the rara. “Everyone wanted to go. They did not want to wait for the other vehicle.”
After the crash, bystanders tried to pull free several people who were pinned by the overturned vehicle, witnesses said. Four people freed from the wreckage died at the scene and two others at a local hospital, according to Juno7.
Authorities have not released the names of the dead as of this writing.