Elderly forklift operator charged with causing UG worker’s death

-released on $1M bail

An elderly forklift operator was yesterday released on $1M bail after denying that he caused the death of a motorcyclist during a recent accident in the city.

Balgobin Persaud, 69, of Lot 155 La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara, denied that he, on August 6, at Dennis Street, Campbellville, drove a forklift 23439 in a dangerous manner to the public, causing the death of Latchman Sukhdeo. The charge was read to Persaud by Magistrate Judy Latchman.

It is the police’s case that Persaud was driving the forklift, with two “metal spikes” to the front, north out of the compound of the Crown Mining Company and turned west on to Dennis Street,

Balgobin Persaud
Balgobin Persaud
Dead: Latchman Sukhdeo
Dead: Latchman Sukhdeo

Campbellville. Police Prosecutor Corporal Sean Blackman told the court that Sukhdeo, who was proceeding east along Dennis Street on his motorcycle, collided with the forklift and fell on the road. He was picked up and rushed to the Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital, where he died while receiving treatment for his injuries. The matter was reported to the police and following an investigation, Persaud was arrested and charged.

Persaud’s lawyer, Lawrence Harris, in seeking bail, told the court that the elderly man had never had any trouble with the law and was not a flight risk.

Blackman made no objections to bail but asked that it be a substantial amount. The court also heard from Blackman that Persaud was placed on $100,000 station bail and has been cooperating with the police.

Magistrate Latchman later set Persaud’s bail at $1M bail and adjourned the matter to September 25, when it will be called at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court One.

A University of Guyana (UG) worker, Sukhdeo, 51, of Station Street, Kitty, died after his jugular vein was severed as a result of the collision.

Sukhdeo’s brother had told Stabroek News that Sukhdeo would usually travel along the lesser-used roads, such as Dennis Street, to get to work. “As he was approaching the Crown Mining business, there was a forklift coming out of the yard and it had some mesh on it,” the man’s brother had said. He continued, “I don’t know he came into contact with the mesh… but it severed his jugular artery, causing his blood to pour out. We couldn’t get him to the hospital in time.”

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