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Elderly woman dies of injuries sustained in hit and run incident; police officer under investigation


by Eulana Weekes

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): An elderly woman, Florence Ella Merchant of Hickman’s Village, Nevis, passed away on Monday, July 17, 2023, after she was hit by a vehicle.

On Saturday, July 15, at about 7:00 a.m., a passerby found the injured elderly at the side of the road in New River, which police described as a “possible hit and run incident.”

The woman was transported to the Alexandra Hospital and examined. She sustained a broken arm, a broken hand and numerous cuts and bruises, according to Police. The police, in its initial statement, also mentioned that the woman was in stable condition. However, news quickly surfaced in the public domain that the woman sustained other injuries.

Scores of people followed the details of the incident, calling for justice for the elderly and sending prayers for her. Sadly, all the kind words, best wishes and prayers turned into condolences to her family and friends in just over 48 hours.

Despite her age, she continued to toil the land, walked daily and enjoyed music and dancing. Many people on social media remembered her through a viral video posted by Everton Obi Elliot on his Facebook page, where “Ella” and the Minister of Culture Eric Evelyn shared a dance-off a few years ago.

In a statement, Commissioner of Police, Mr James Sutton, notified the public on Monday, July 17, that a police officer is under investigation in relation to the hit-and-run incident.

“As Commissioner of Police, I wish to address the recent incident involving a police officer suspected of hitting a pedestrian and failing to remain at the scene. I want to assure the public that this matter will be thoroughly investigated, leaving no stone unturned. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of accountability, and anyone found responsible will face appropriate charges.”

The Commissioner added, “We ask, however, for persons who have any information that will assist the investigation to come forward and speak to investigators. We cannot solve this case without your assistance. Again, I appeal to any person who has information to come forward and speak to the Police. The Police Force takes this incident very seriously, and we are committed to maintaining transparency while we pursue justice. Our thoughts are with the victim and her family, and we will do everything in our power to ensure a fair and impartial investigation. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work  diligently to resolve this matter.”


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