April 6, 2004 – Three Tortola electric utility workers died Tuesday after the B.V.I. Electricity Corp. truck in which they were riding plowed into a tree on the island. A news official at British Virgin Islands radio station ZBVI cited authorities as saying the truck burst into flames and that the men died in the fire.
Authorities identified the victims on Tuesday afternoon as Alex Mactavious of Fort Hill, Roger Hodge of Sea Cows Bay and Ralston Farrington of Bellvue.
"They were traveling from the west end of the island, coming into Road Town," Zan Lewis, ZBVI news director, said, when the driver apparently lost control of the truck. "The vehicle ran into a tree on the right-hand side of the road and caught fire," he said.
Lewis said the accident occurred around 9:45 a.m. Friends and acquaintances of the victims gathered at the accident scene as rescue workers removed the bodies, he said.
B.V.I. police later released a statement saying the men were en route from Pockwood Pond to Road Town when Mactavious, the driver, lost control on a curve and the truck smashed into a tree near the community of Havers then burst into flames. Passersby were unable to rescue the men, police said, and by the time the B.V.I. Fire and Rescue Department arrived and extinguished the fire, the victims were dead.
Investigators on the scene gathered forensic evidence to try to determine what caused the truck to strike the tree, Lewis said. Police said later that the accident remained under investigation.
The offices of B.V.I. Electricity Corp., a government-owned company that provides power to the entire British Virgins, were closed on Tuesday following the accident. In a recorded statement issued during the day, Chief Minister Orlando Smith extended the government's condolences to the families of the three men.
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