‘Thank God I’m Alive Today’


Former MP Joanne Thomas Tearfully Recalls Being Caught in a Landslide

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO — Former PNM St Ann’s East MP, Joanne Thomas, is thanking the Almighty following her narrow escape after her car was caught in a landslide along Lady Young Road near the ‘lookout’.

The falling rock and dirt pushed Thomas’ car to the edge of the road which runs along a hill, according to the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

“I want to give God thanks for me being alive today,” a shaken but unhurt Thomas was quoted as saying, as she wept during an interview with Newsday. “I could say for this Lent, God has granted me a blessing. This is a real testimony of God’s grace.”

She also thanked to former PP government minister Devant Maharaj who was proceeding in his vehicle along the road and stopped to render assistance when the landslide struck. Up to press time, the section of Lady Young Road where the landslide occurred, remained cut off to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, Newsday reported.

Thomas, who is General Manager (Human Resources) at the North Central Regional Health Authority, said she had just left a meeting at the Port of Spain General Hospital. She decided to take the Lady Young Road as a faster route back to the office. She said that as she was driving, the side of the hill, “just gave way”, with dirt and rocks slamming into the side of her red Audi.

“When I reached I saw a little dust and a little rubble. I decided to take my time and drive around it. As I was driving though I heard a loud crack then the whole hill came down with the trees and everything. I heard a loud bang as the dirt hit my car,” Thomas was reported as saying. She said the force of the sliding earth pushed her car to the side of the road.

Had it not been for the steel railing, her car could have been pushed off the road and down the hill. As Thomas struggled to make her way through the dust, she was met by Maharaj, who had been driving behind her and saw what happened. He placed Thomas in the back of his car and took her to a relative’s home in St Ann’s.

She arrived at her relatives’ home shaken, frightened and covered in dust, the newspaper reported. Thomas’ mother Una Storey, also thanked God that her daughter’s life was spared. “As I was being taken back to my relative’s house, I kept thinking I will never pass on the Lady Young Road again. I really don’t want to pass there again, because I will always think that at some point this could happen again,” Thomas was quoted as saying.

“What is amazing is that it is dry. It’s not as if rain fell and there was a landslide. It was not raining, it was dry, and it still came down,” she added.