Lucinda Quashie died on Thursday.

One of the two women who were badly burnt when a sports utility vehicle, PM618, caught fire in McKies Hill, Kingstown on Tuesday has died and the other has been flown overseas for medical attention.

Lucinda Quashie, who was in the front passenger seat, and her sister and owner and driver of the vehicle, Cornelia Quashie, both of Cane End, suffered serious burns to much of their bodies.

Lucinda died during the pre-dawn hours of Thursday, hours before she and her sister were scheduled to be flown overseas for medical attention.

Cornelia was airlifted overseas Thursday afternoon.

Cornelia Quashie was airlifted overseas on Thursday. (IWN photo)
Cornelia Quashie was airlifted overseas on Thursday. (IWN photo)

Lucinda died at the Intensive Care Unit of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital where she and her sister were warded after the incident.

Six-year-old Johanie Quashie-Browne was also a passenger in the vehicle and was burnt during the incident, but was treated in hospital and discharged Tuesday evening.

First responders and civilians assist one of the women after they were rescued from the burning vehicle on Tuesday.
First responders and civilians assist Lucinda after she was rescued from the burning vehicle on Tuesday.

Reports are that the women became trapped inside the vehicle when it caught fire in traffic in the community just outside downtown, Kingstown.

The three were rescued by residents of the area who responded to the sound of an explosion and found them trapped inside the flaming vehicle.

The extent of the damage the fire did to the vehicle.
A view of the damage the fire did to the vehicle.

9 replies on “Woman injured in burning vehicle dies, sister flown overseas”

  1. Jeannine James says:

    So the vehicle was in traffic when the fire started. To me, that explains much. I could see how the driver would’ve seen it her first responsibility to get out of traffic. I wish the survivor a full recovery. This sounds like it will be an uphill battle long after the scars are healed. Tough one.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Jeannine, just as tough for those dead and dying Vincentians who were or are never able to go elsewhere for treatment because the government can’t or won’t pay for overseas care is the question of who funded the transport of this woman for overseas treatment? Most important, if the government paid, why in this case and not in countless others?

      On a personal note, I became ill several years ago during a trip to SVG and my employer’s insurance company (which I was required to contact) told me not to seek treatment in SVG but to come home instead because medical treatment on our small rock was no recommended.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    Yet another sign of a primitive medical system — no specialized burn unit. But not to worry, we will soon be able airlift all our people for civilized health care treatment overseas from our world class airport at Argyle.

  3. Colville Ferdinand says:

    I hope that this patient survives her injuries and she is able to return to her pre-injury health status. Condolences to their family at this very difficult time.

    C.ben-David `s comments while filled with sarcasm are completely devoid of sympathy.
    I am a Vincentian living in the state of Georgia. Georgia has a land area of 59, 425 square miles and a population of 10.1 million people. It has two specialized burn units. People are air lifted to them from within the state and from neighbouring states. They come from the scene of an event and from other hospitals. The need for transfer is not a bad thing in and of itself. In fact the doctors, nurses and hospital staff are to be commended. They were able to manage and stabilize what appears to be a critically ill patient so that they can tolerate an air ambulance transport. Not bad for a “primitive medical system”. This lady now has a chance because of their efforts. Hats off to those involved, including those who assisted at the scene on Tuesday.
    Milton Cato Memorial cannot be all things for every healthcare need of Vincentians and its visitors. Transferring patients to regional centers with appropriate expertise is perfectly acceptable. Our small population and the infrequent occurrence of certain medical conditions, means that at times our countrymen would be best served elsewhere. A health care system that allow us to do that when appropriate is by no means primitive.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      I don’t know this woman but am expected to show false sympathy for her and possibly offer empty condolences to her family! I guess I should do he same for the tens of thousands of people who die all around the world every day from a variety of causes.

      More important, at least to me, is who paid for this air transfer. Could it have been the government which can’t or won’t even pay for kidney dialysis or other procedures resulting in the premature death of Vincentians every day who don’t have the means to “be best served elsewhere.” For such people and such conditions we certainly do no have “A health care system that allow us to do that [send patients elsewhere for treatment] when appropriate” and is therefore indeed primitive.

      If the government paid for this woman’s transportation, the question is why her and why for this particular incident.

      Personally, unless informed otherwise, I contend that the air transfer was paid for by an insurance policy or through other private means.

      P.S.: Just try not to fall ill and require hospitalization the next time you come home. You may not live to regret it.

      1. Colville Ferdinand says:

        The challenges of providing healthcare to a population is by no means unique to the Government of St Vincent. Even resource rich countries are struggling with this. This however does not equate to a primitive system.

        There is certainly room for improvement in healthcare delivery in St Vincent. Having defined criteria for utilizing limited resources would be a good thing. Encouraging those who could afford to purchase supplemental insurance to do so would help. Air transportation from the far reaches of our country would also be beneficial.

        I am not sure if medical transportation has to be prepaid in SVG, but it is billed subsequently in the US. Your comments about the advise you received from your insurance company does not in anyway support your argument about a primitive system.

        If we use life expectancy as a measure of a systems effectiveness, in SVG it is 72.4 years. This compares favourably to Trinidad at 69.8, St Lucia at 74.6, Barbados at 75.1 and USA at 78.8. This is from 2012 World Bank statistics.

        A 2002 WHO study by Dr.Chris Murray, measured the overall health system performance for 191 countries. France was ranked #1, USA # 37 and SVG #74. Caribbean countries ranked ahead of us were Cuba # 39, Barbados # 46, Dominican Republic # 51, Jamaica # 53, Trinidad # 67 and St Lucia # 68. Room for improvement definitively but far from primitive.

        Healthcare related bankruptcies are a common occurrence in the US. They are the leading cause of personal bankruptcies. Some estimates are as high as 60 %.
        A 2013 study by Nerdwallet (a personal finance website) found that;
        56 million Americans under 65 will have trouble paying medical bills.
        15 million between 19 and 64 will use all their savings to pay medical bills.
        10 million insured Americans between 19 and 64 will face bills they are unable to pay.
        1.7 million households will declare personal bankruptcy

        Despite its many challenges SVG`s healthcare system is far from primitive. Celebrating the successes of healthcare personnel who do a wonderful job despite the odd would be a better way to help raise morale and change perceptions.

        P.S. I am aware that healthcare delivery is an expensive proposition. I would hate to burden the tax payers of SVG with this cost. I will be sure to have insurance, including the cost of air ambulance whenever I travel.

    2. C. ben-David says:

      When Georgia residents are airlifted elsewhere they have to pay for this plus the treatment unless they have Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. Since most Americans now have one of these, they will not be bankrupted by expensive medical treatment.

      I have learned that the government of SVG paid not one red cent to have this woman airlifted and treated which means that if she has no medical insurance, she and/or her family will face huge medical bills especially if treatment is in the USA.

  4. My sympathy to the family.

    I see some positive words from ‘Colville Ferdinand.’ If you are by chance Dr. Colville Ferdinand who once said “St.Vincent cannot pay me enough money to work in this hospital,” I’m just wondering if this means you have had a change of heart and will be returning to us sooner than later to make that meaningful contribution instead of coming back in your twilight years when your overseas pension may have more buying power here in SVG. The healthcare system needs you now, not when you are 70yrs old and cynical!

    1. Colville Ferdinand says:

      TedBlak, this is indeed Dr. Colville Ferdinand. I have no recollection of the direct quote you attributed to me. I must have made a tremendous impression for you to remember something I was supposed to have said in 1996.

      I doubt that I said those word but even if correct, I was 18 months out from graduating Medical School. My views on June 10th 2016 represent a perspective based on six years of surgical training and 14 years as a practicing surgeon on the faculty of an academic medical center.

      I may well return to make that meaningful contribution, but my presence in the US does not preclude me from commenting. I know that my positive comments were appreciated. I had an e mail from a staff member stating such.

      I hope that you are not insinuating that older people are cynical.

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