A sports and fitness enthusiast died after he was struck by a minibus on Carifesta Avenue on Tuesday during his routine cycling regimen.
Roy Mendonca, 67, of Lot 281 Forshaw Street, Queenstown, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he was taken after the head-on collision with the minibus.
His wife of 14 years, Maureen Marks-Mendonca, said she was told that the driver of minibus BNN 6492, who was travelling east along Carifesta Avenue, was attempting to overtake a few vehicles when he struck her husband, who was heading west along the road. The driver was reported to have been travelling at a fast rate. A policeman driving along the roadway stopped and helped Mendonca into his vehicle and placed the driver of the mini-bus under arrest. The two were both taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital for medical care but Mendonca was pronounced dead on arrival.
Marks-Mendonca, 60, and her husband had embarked on their normal morning bike ride on Tuesday, with him riding ahead of her to the National Park. She stated that he took the longer route of riding along Irving Street into Carifesta whilst she rode along Thomas Street.
She naturally arrived ahead of him and awaited his arrival in the park. After some time, she said she became suspicious about his delay and decided to contact him on his mobile phone. A police officer later answered and told her that her husband had been struck by a minibus and he was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital.
Marks-Mendonca noted that it was ironic that just recently her husband was making the case to the Guyana Cycling Federation for a cyclist track in light of the increase in road deaths. She described her husband as a loving and adventurous man, with whom she enjoyed every single day of their life together.
The couple lived at their Forshaw Street home with her 91-year-old mother for the past few years after they both retired to live out the rest of their lives in Guyana.
Mendonca was a former GuySuCo employee. He had attended the Guyana School of Agriculture and worked as an agricultural analyst before migrating to Canada, where he spent three decades in the transport business. He was an avid tennis player and vibrant fitness enthusiast. He had won a cycling award in the veteran’s category as he raced against the clock in good time. He has one child—with a former partner —who resides in Canada.
His now widow is a former government economist, a former Guyanese diplomat to China who resided in Hong Kong for over two decades and an author. Since their return to Guyana, they travelled across the country, visiting places such as the Kaieteur Falls; drove the dirt road to Brazil and the asphalt to Suriname, and trod through the jungle on safari.
“On behalf of myself and my beloved soul mate, Roy, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. So much joy just 5 days ago and now indescribable sorrow… Yet somewhere inside I feel the peace of knowing that together we lived life to the fullest – a life filled with crazy, exciting adventures, wrapped in love, laughter and the every present support of our dear family and friends. Now together we must begin this unimaginable journey designed to test our love and faith. We shall not falter,” Marks-Mendonca later wrote in a caption for a photo she posted on Facebook.