Friday, July 19, 2013

Kangaloo dies; PM expresses shock

Appeal Court Justice Wendell Kangaloo died Friday at the St Clair Medical Centre, 14 months after he was involved in a deadly crash on the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, near Trincity.

Four people died in that accident on May 20, 2012 when a vehicle crossed the median and crashed into Kangaloo's vehicle, which was travelling east.

Kangaloo was treated locally and then sent to the John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland for further treatment. After he returned home Kangaloo was under the care of a local medical team.

In a media release Friday Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said she was shocked to learn of Kangaloo's death.

She said she was advised that Kangaloo was recuperating well from his injuries and that she was looking forward to his return to the Bench. In April he attended a seminar for judges at the Hilton.

She said she was shocked to learn that he was readmitted to hospital last week. "It was even more shocking when I was informed by the Honourable Chief Justice, Mr Justice Ivor Archie, this morning, that he had died," the Prime Minister stated.

Persad-Bissessar said Kamgaloo's death leaves a void in the Judiciary and the entire legal system in Trinidad and Tobago. She decribed him as one of the most qualified and respected judges in the Court of Appeal.

"He was well versed in the law and I was not surprised when he became one of the youngest judges to sit on the Bench at the age of 39. He was also the first graduate of the Hugh Wooding Law School to reach the Court of Appeal in 2001," she stated.

The Prime Minister said Kangaloo had a great humour and a compassion for sports, in particular horseracing. He was on his way to the Arima track at the time of the accident.

"I wish to join with the Judiciary, and members of the legal profession in paying tribute to a very professional and noble member of the Bench," she said. "On behalf of the Government, I extend deepest condolences to the Kangaloo family in this time of grief and to offer them solace, that he contributed immensely to the legal profession."

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan also offered condolences. "His passing leaves a void in the Judiciary and the legal profession which would be difficult to fill," Ramlogan said in a media release. He added that Kangaloo was a personal friend and mentor.

"Justice Kangaloo truly distinguished himself professionally as being objective fair and passionate about the law. He was one of those who bridged the barriers of the inner bar opening the doors to junior members of the profession. Personally he was an extraordinary individual who was loved for his compassion and humour," the AG stated.

The interim leader of the Independent Liberal Party also expressed condolences to the Kangaloo party.

In a media release Jack Warner described the late judge as one of the country's "finest sons" and added that his untimely passing deprived the country the wealth and wisdom of his experience.

He added that he hopes Kangaloo's death would provoke in everyone the will to eradicate the type of driving experience, "which can result in the loss of one so great".

He said, "I want his family to represent the excellence we knew he possessed as we forge to keep his memory always alive and his legacy extant for all our posterity."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai