By Javon Vickerie
A day after she buried the two children she lost in the tragedy on the Pomeroon River that claimed six lives, Beverly Narine yesterday said she remained disgusted over the failure by the captain of the vessel that hit them to immediately render assistance.
“If my daughter was in a wheelchair self, I wouldn’t tah tek it on suh but she still been alive and it hut meh fah see me children cold in deh casket; like somebody stab me in the heart,” said Narine, who is demanding justice.
Narine’s children, Rajkumar, 14, and Amerita Singh, 10, of Charity Housing Scheme, Essequibo Coast, her other relatives boat captain Harrinarine Bhagwandin and his nephew Vincent Singh, 40, both of Abrams Creek; and Velda Rodrigues, 50, and her son Shawn Rodrigues, 14, also of Abrams Creek, all died exactly one week ago after the boat they were travelling in collided with another boat, near Siriki, in the Pomeroon River.
nly one passenger, Eli Orlando Rodrigues, survived. He has since been released from the Suddie Hospital and is in the care of his aunt. A source from the Pomeroon district related that the child was discharged from the hospital on Sunday after nursing minor head injuries from the boat accident. Rodrigues was present at the funeral on Sunday when his brother and mother were laid to rest.
Although both the police and the Maritime Administration Department have launched investigations into the accident, no charges have been filed.
Narine said that after the accident, her husband and other boat drivers got together and headed to the crash site, after persons who were travelling and had seen the accident reported it to him. No police officer or officials from the regional office went to scene of the accident, she said, noting that it was her husband and other men who rescued Rodrigues and brought the other bodies to shore.
“Me husband seh when de men them arrive pon de scene, dey see de lil boy been hollering fah ‘help’ and nobody hear he. When I talk to the lil boy, he tell me he and Amerita been shouting fah help but me ain’t know if is because she been in nuff pain mek she pass out,” she said.
Narine still believes that if the region’s boat had turned around and assisted the injured, her daughter may have lived.
The other boat, owned by the Region Two administration, had been transporting workers from the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) project who were in the area on a distribution exercise. Its captain reportedly drove to the shore after the accident to get help. The captain was held by police after the accident but released days after.
“I deh in sorrow. I can’t even look at de rest of my children. I gon live wid this pon me mind till I dead. Is not fair! Me children gone! If I de had de power, I wudda go to heaven and bring back me children but dey gone forever,” Narine cried, while adding that her nine-year-old daughter still asks who will now take her to school as her two older siblings would normally do it.
Narine told Stabroek News that her family received $400,000 to bury the four members who died, but she added that the money they received from the government cannot compensate for the loss of their lives, and especially her children.
“It is not fair for de man who took me children life walk free. I still sit and remember how my children life get tek away. Is hard fah me as a mother to cope,” she said.
“No amount ah money can’t bring back me two children. How would he feel if somebody de do he children dah? Put he self in me shoes and feel how I feeling as a mother fah know you lose two children wah ya see grow up,” she added.
Narine was also upset that her family was not allowed to witness the post-mortem examinations and that up until now she has no idea what was responsible for her children’s deaths.
Autopsies performed by government pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh at the Suddie Mortuary on Thursday last revealed that Bhagwandin, Velda Rodrigues, Rajkumar Amerita and Vincent Singh all sustained multiple fatal injuries. Shawn Rodrigues, meanwhile, sustained blunt trauma, a fractured spine, and suffered respiratory arrest, which caused his death.
Meanwhile, Regional Chairman Parmanand Persaud said the government and the private sector have made donations to the victims’ families, including monetary contributions and food vouchers.
Persaud stated that the government has donated $600,000 in cash to the families: $100,000 for every person who died in the accident. In addition, the families would have an additional $25,000 grocery voucher, which was only accepted by two families. Apart from these, families were provided with boxes of biscuits and five pound tins of milk.