A collision involving a car and a tractor towing a trailer, which occurred yesterday morning on the Friendship Public Road, East Bank Demerara (EBD), has left the tractor’s driver dead, while the other was said to be too intoxicated to even give a statement.
Relatives say that 57-year-old Bissoondial Nihal, the tractor’s driver, and six of his workers were making their way from Nihal’s home at 17 Busby Dam, Craig, EBD, to his farm in Garden of Eden, EBD, when the intoxicated driver slammed his Toyota Premio into the back of the trailer, around 7 am.
Residents of the area where the accident occurred said that the impact flung Nihal from the tractor into the space between the tractor and the trailer. “I did sitting down in me yard and all I hear is blam, and when I look, I see the man on the road and the tractor heading fuh de drain,” said one woman.
Nihal’s wife said that the day had started the way it had for years, with Nihal leaving home between 6:00 am and 6:30 am. She said that he had left with his workers, who usually met him at his home, to go work his farm.
Naitram Nihal, the man’s son was on the trailer when the car hit. He said that he saw the car coming up behind the trailer at a very fast pace. He said that he thought nothing of the car’s speed and assumed that when it got close enough it would simply overtake the tractor and trailer. This however, never happened. “The man didn’t even mash he brakes, they aint had no brake impressions at the scene, he just run into we with all the speed he did going with.”
“When he hit the back of the trailer I fall over the side, but I hold on pon the railing at the side and did halfway on de road,” said Naitram. He said that as he held onto the railing, which became somewhat dislodged by the impact, he witnessed the other passengers of the trailer being rolled around, and even falling onto the road.
Naitram recalled that he saw one person land in the space between the tractor and the trailer, and thought it to be one of the workers. “The tractor did still moving after we get hit so I thought that he (Nihal) was still controlling it, I didn’t know that is he did fall off, “said Naitram.
He said that the railing he was grasping to eventually gave way as a result of his weight and sent him crashing to the road. Naitram, who sustained no serious injuries, shared that after he fell he rushed to the aid of the man he saw fall. It was only then that he realized that it was his father. The man’s relatives say that they already could tell that he was dead, but formality resulted in him being taken to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The tractor, which still had its trailer attached, ran off the road and into a nearby drain, destroying a cross bridge.
A witness to the accident said that the driver of the Premio could hardly stand or speak as he was being assisted out of his wrecked vehicle.
Naitram said that when the driver was shown his father’s body lying on the road he fell to the man’s side, held his head, and began to pray.
He said however, that when police took the driver to identify the body of the person he was involved in the accident with, he said that he could not recognize the person. “After this man hold on pon me father face and pray, he seh he nah recognize the man face,” said Naitram in disbelief.
Nihal’s relatives said that the driver was eventually taken to the Grove Police Station where he was subjected to a breathalyzer test, and was found to be under the influence. This rendered him incapable of giving a statement to police.
Stabroek News understands that up to 2:00pm yesterday, the man still had not given a statement on the events.