PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Chief Justice, Ivor Archie, Friday, led the judiciary in paying tribute to Appeal Court judge, Justice Wendell Kangaloo, who died at a private medical facility, more than a year after being involved in a vehicular accident that also claimed the lives of four other people.
Justice Kangaloo, 56, who had been flown to the John Hopkins Hospital in the United States for treatment following the May 20, 2012 vehicular accident, died at the Intensive Care Unit of the St. Clair Medical Centre where he had been warded over the past few days following complications.
Justice Kangaloo was acting Chief Justice at the time of the accident when a car crossed the median along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, east of here and crashed into his Sports Utility Vehicle. The four occupants of the other vehicle died at the scene.
“It is the news we hoped would never come, but we have had to accept the reality of the great odds Wendell faced given the gravity of the injuries he sustained in that horrific accident a last year.
“Now that the inevitable has befallen, we join the Kangaloo family in their sorrow, assure them of our support, and pray that they will be inspired by the strength and courage with which Wendell confronted his challenges. We hope that this would also assist in the very quick healing we wish them,” Justice Archie said.
“To me personally and all his colleagues on the bench, as well as the administrative staff of the Judiciary, Wendell was more than a colleague. He was wise counsel, a true friend, a good teacher and an extraordinary person whose sense of humour endeared him to all.
“As a judge he was incisive, detailed, objective, fair and fearless. He was passionate about the law, eschewed poor governance at any level and embraced fully the Judiciary’s efforts at transforming itself into a high performing professional organization.
“Bolstered by his long and varied experience both at the bench and the bar, in addition to his intellect and commitment, his contribution in the transformation process has been invaluable and will be truly missed, and his absence generally creates a void not easily replenished.”
Justice Archie said that the country and the rule of law have lost a “brilliant protagonist and we join in saluting his legacy and the grief over his passing, celebrating his life also”.
Justice Kangaloo was admitted to the bar in October 1984 and appointed a Puisne Judge of the High Court on February 1, 1996 at the age of 39, one of the youngest persons to assume that office. He was elevated to the Court of Appeal on December 11, 2001.
The former chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Judicial Education Institute and a fellow of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute was a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of the West Indies.