Relatives and friends of 25-year-old Rolando Laoe, a labourer of 2 Greendale Close, Kingston 19, claim that he was merely a passenger in the stolen bus after hitching a ride with the other alleged bus thief, who has been identified as 34-year-old Marvin Murray, a labourer of Waltham Avenue, Kingston 13.
“Him beg a ride from a boy, never know say a thief them thief the bus, and the bus crash…,” one of Laoe’s relatives, Angelina Laoe wrote on Facebook.
However, police reports give a different account of the crash.
Police said that, at about 4 am, Murray and Laoe stole a 15-seater Toyota Hiace bus from a yard in the Wild Cane community of Cave Valley last Tuesday.
Further reports are that, while the men were making their escape, they lost control of the vehicle and it fell over a precipice on the Bottom Cascade main road at about 7:45 am.
Both men sustained serious injuries and were rushed to the hospital, where one was pronounced dead. The other injured man later succumbed to his injuries.
Laoe’s cousin, Ramona Mona Shandalan appeared upset over the allegations against her late relative.
“There is no more to the story more than he died yesterday after meeting in an accident Sunday, simple!!! Sighs #RIP cous kmt….” she wrote on Facebook in response to queries on how he died.
Several friends of Laoe supported his family members’ claim that he wasn’t stealing the bus. Others just expressed shock at his death in the crash.
Daneille Bell commented: “Jahh knw yoooow, nobody don’t really knw we tomorrow may bring a swear RIP.”
Shannakaye Rowe posted, “When am going to wake from this dream am. In everything is just not the same without you Rolando Laoe I really missing you.. I know you are gone forever but you will always be I’m my heart.”
Others, such as Audreana Pinnock, were overcome with grief.
Pinnock commented: “Lado why did you go and do this to ur self yow smh I miss you I wish you were still here to …. around me when I come to treez it’s jus no longer the same.”
In the meantime, the local police are still maintaining that Laoe and Murray were involved in the stealing of a bus, which was driven over a precipice, killing them.
FEATURED IMAGE- Rolando Laoe, one of the deceased men, who succumbed to injuries he received in the crash last Tuesday.