Family protests at GWI over Mandela hit-and-run

Family members of Claude McPherson, who was fatally hit by a Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) driver, staged a protest in front of the company’s Corporate Complex along Vlissengen Road on Thursday and demanded that it accept some amount of responsibility for the man’s death.

This protest action by the family followed the arraignment of Shawn Ravindra Ramai at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. Ramai was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and other charges and he was placed on $2.1M bail after pleading not guilty to all of them.

Attorney Jonas Coddett told the court during the arraignment that Ramai, who is his client, had informed his superiors at GWI about four weeks ago that the pickup vehicle assigned to him by the company had faulty brakes. However, Coddett said, the information was ignored.

Abiola McPherson, the dead man’s wife, said she was very upset at the way in which her husband died and she added that GWI has not contacted her since. In light of the claims by Ramai’s lawyer, she questioned how the company could have had a vehicle on the road that was not functioning properly.

McPherson’s 25-year-old son, Seon McPherson, travelled to Guyana from the United Sates and was present at the protest.

McPherson of 169 East Ruimveldt Housing Scheme, was struck down by the GWI vehicle as he attempted to cross Mandela Avenue on his bike around 9:45 PM on February 26. He had apparently been on his way home to collect his cellular phone when he was hit.

The post-mortem conducted on McPherson revealed that the food vendor had died as a result of multiple injuries, including a broken neck, fractured spinal cord and broken ribs. The man also suffered a severe open fracture to his hips and severe head injuries.

GWI had issued a statement stating that the driver had reported to work, submitted a written report of the accident and had later left after asking for “personal time” to visit a relative. Ramai had reportedly told the security guard at GWI that he had hit a horse.


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