by Larry Smith
Angry questions are being raised about the tragic deaths of two Canadian retirees in a recent traffic accident on Exuma.
In a letter to Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade this week, Bahamas Humane Society President Kim Aranha has asked whether charges will ever be filed against the hit and run driver.
Ron and Jill Gandza, both in their 50s, from St. Catharines, Ontario, were killed at about 10pm on April 25 while walking home from the Peace & Plenty Hotel. A car driven by a 26-year-old Exumian slammed into them - hurling Mrs Gandza 10 feet off the road and striking her husband with such force that his head smashed the car windshield.
The driver then fled, leaving Mr Gandza lying dead in the middle of the road and his wife critically injured in the bush. A passerby arrived on the scene shortly afterwards and contacted the clinic.
According to former Ministry of Tourism official Cordell Thompson, who lives in Rolleville and knows the passerby who tried to help, "the accident occurred about a three-minute walk from the clinic, yet it took over 40 minutes for them to receive attention. The emergency phone number here is never answered. This is a tale of horrors."
Jill Gandza later died of her injuries. She was a retired nurse at Niagara Health System. Ron Gandza worked for General Motors in St Catherine's. They had been visiting the Bahamas for years and recently bought a small retirement home in Georgetown.
Meanwhile, the driver of the hit and run vehicle received minor injuries and was later treated at the clinic. He was initially picked up for questioning by the police, but in the days after the accident he was seen attending the Georgetown regatta.