A 23-year-old contractor, accused of causing the death of an eight-year-old girl by driving in a dangerous manner and then driving away from the scene of the accident, was charged with the offences and granted bail when he appeared at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Zulficar Namdar of 76 Meten-Meer-Zorg, West Coast Demerara pleaded not guilty to charges of causing death by dangerous driving, failure to stop after an accident and failure to render assistance to injured persons and was granted bail in the sum of $150,000 by Magistrate Fazil Azeez.
It is alleged that on Sunday, at New Road, Vreed-en-Hoop, he drove motor car, PLL 2554 in a manner dangerous to the public thereby causing the death of Alecia Forrester. It is also alleged that following the incident, during which injuries were caused to Forrester and Alvin Constantine, he failed to stop the car. Further, it is alleged that having been involved in the accident during which injuries were caused to Forrester and Constantine, he failed to render assistance by taking the injured persons for medical treatment.
Attorney-at-law Lawrence Harris entered an appearance for Namdar. In a bail application, he stated that his client is a contractor and operates a trucking service. Harris told the court that his client is married and has a five-week-old child and this is his first time before the court. The attorney said that according to his instructions, Namdar was heading in a western direction and had tried to avoid hitting the child, who had run in front of a stationary Canter. He further stated that his client had stopped his vehicle and got into another car and had gone to the Vreed-en-Hoop police station. He added that Namdar’s mother, wife and child had been in the car with him. “He went straight to report the accident to the Vreed-en-Hoop police station,” Harris contended adding that his client had been going to help but saw a “mob”. He asked for reasonable bail to be granted.
However, Police Prosecutor Ramsahoye Rambajue told the court that the defendant had been travelling at a fast rate of speed. He declared that Namdar drove away and was pursued by public-spirited citizens and was caught close to a gas station on New Road.
A policeman involved in the case told the court that Namdar had been taken to the police station in a taxi, and the driver had said that he had tried to escape but had been caught. Namdar denied that the taxi driver had stopped him and said that he had stopped by himself.
Police had said Sunday that investigations revealed that Forrester and Constantine, 36, who is her step-father, were crossing the road when they were struck down by the driver of the car, who was driving at a fast rate and was suspected to be under the influence of alcohol. The two pedestrians were taken to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where Forrester was pronounced dead on arrival and Constantine admitted in a serious condition while the driver of the car drove away from the scene of the accident but was pursued by public-spirited persons who caught him, and handed him over to the police.
Namdar was ordered to return to court on February 6 at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrate’s Court for report.
Meantime, earlier this month, Leslie Lopes, who was charged with causing death by dangerous driving back in 2006 was sentenced to two years imprisonment and had his license suspended for two years after he was found guilty following a trial at the Vreed-en-Hoop court.
On February 21, 2006, he caused the death of Gurudat Suknandan by driving motor bus BJJ 3319 on the Goed Fortuin public road in a manner dangerous to the public, according to the Vreed-en-Hoop court report.