Residents of Montserrado County Electoral District# 15 are shock over the death of their lawmaker, Representative Adolph A. Lawrence in a car crash early Monday, 25 March along the Robertsfield highway in Margibi County, barely a day after celebrating his 50th birthday.
District#15 covers Logan Town, Jamaica Road and Caldwell, respectively on Bushrod Island, a densely populated Monrovia suburb.
The New Dawn visited the area Tuesday and spoke with some grieving residents on the tragic loss, which they blame on recklessness from national government, particularly the Liberia National Police for failure to regulate defective vehicles plying the streets and highways.
The late Representative Lawrence was enroute to Monrovia from Grand Bassa County when his vehicle crashed into a failing pickup truck on Tower Hill, Margibi County during early morning hour thus, killing him instantly and a female riding with him, Ms. Gwendolyn Dabah Wilson, a recent graduate of the University of Liberia.
Three other occupants of the car, who sustained injuries, are admitted at the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia, including a student leader of the UL, Carlor T. Edison, whose condition is said to be critical.
Speaking to this paper in an exclusive interview, a resident of the district, who is also a lecture of Public Administration at the United Methodist University on Ashmum Street, Mr. Emmanuel M. Peters says, failure of government to electrify the Robertsfield highway, and inability of the Liberia National Police to institute road safety measures that would regulate movement of trucks are some of the factors responsible for the death of Rep. Lawrence.
“The death of Rep. Lawrence is caused by the government because of their inability to electrify the highway that leads to the national airport; this is a shame; how many peaceful citizens will continue to loss their lives?” he asks.
He maintains that government should take the blame for all of the tragic road accidents across the country, lamenting that yesterday, it was a little girl with a bright future; today, it is Rep. Lawrence. Who knows what will happen tomorrow?
Remembering the life of the fallen lawmaker, Mr. Peters laments the people of District# 15 will miss the late Representative Lawrence for his efforts in providing scholarships to his constituents, noting that he (Adolph Lawrence) had scholarships in almost every school across the district; “and I think that is something residents of this district will not forget so easily.”
“Though he did not perform to our expectation at the Legislature, but he did what he could do and that is something that every resident residing in this district will miss him for”, says Peters.
According to him, the late Rep. Lawrence went as far as buying a property in King Peters town with the intent to have built a hospital for the people of this district. “Unfortunately, he is no longer with us and it’s saddened that we lost such a great man”, he adds.
Also speaking, district coordinator Ezekiel Shannon, says he’s frustrated over the manner in which the government is handling the death of Rep. Lawrence, stressing that he was a statesman, so government should attach seriousness to investigation surrounding the accident to get to the bottom.
He says the late Rep. Lawrence was very instrumental in discharging his functions as a lawmaker for the district noting, “This is something that he will be remembered for.”
“Today, as you can see, the Logan Town Broad Street that is paved; it was through the advocacy of the late Rep. Lawrence; the vacuum he has created [by his death] in this district cannot be filled by anyone. Residents here can attest to this.”
The sudden death news of Rep. Lawrence’s came early Monday morning, 25 March over a week after burial of the late Montserrado County Sen. Geraldine Doe-Sherif on 16 March. The Senator Doe-Sherifdied on 10 February from protracted illness at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana, exactly four days following her 52nd natal day.
Their passing has left the government with the resource-demanding task of conducting two separate by-elections for the Senate and the House in coming months.
By Lewis S. Teh