Two persons were killed yesterday morning when a car headed to Berbice lost control, slammed into an electricity pole and flipped into a ditch along the public road at Unity, Mahaica East Bank Demerara.
Dead are nine-year-old Indar Raghubir called ‘Richie’ of Blairmont, West Bank Berbice and Dorette Hinds of Cumberland, Corentyne, Berbice were pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH).
Metanga Cameron, 37, of Corentyne, Berbice who was driving the vehicle, and Indira Raghubir, 35, mother of Indar, were in critical condition at the hospital up to late last evening.
The accident, according to an eyewitness, occurred some time between 8 am and 9 am yesterday. Lalta Persaud, a farmer, said he was going about his usual morning routine on his coconut estate located close to the public road when he heard a loud sound.
“I was right here doing my work and all I hear is this loud crack like when a tree or something break,” the farmer recalled, “so I rushed out to the front and look out on the road but I didn’t see anything.”
The man said that he called to someone else on the road and asked if they saw anything and it was then that the hire car, HB 7274, was discovered in a deep ditch next to the electricity pole into which it had slammed. Efforts were immediately made to rescue the four persons trapped inside the vehicle.
While Stabroek News was unable to speak with either of the survivors, reports suggest that the driver was speeding along the northern side of the road.
When he lost control of the vehicle it slammed into the electricity pole on the southern side of the road. The impact split the pole in two and resulted in the car spinning about 240 degrees and flipping, top first, into the ditch.
Cameron, the Raghubirs and Hinds were left trapped in the flipped car in ditch full of water for several minutes. A group of residents, including the nearby farmer Persaud, immediately rendered assistance.
“When I see this car upside down in that trench and I hear the people hitting against the car because the water was already in there suffocating them I started to panic,” Persaud told Stabroek News.
Several persons, the farmer said, managed to turn the badly damaged vehicle over and the child was the first person removed, but he did not appear to be breathing, Persaud said.
“The little boy was done dead when we take him out the car,” the farmer said, “and his mother had one of she hand hanging by a lil piece of skin.”
Meanwhile, this newspaper learned that Indira and Indar were on their way back to Berbice after a visit to the US Embassy.
A family friend, Lakheram Narine of D’Edward Village told this newspaper that the two spent the night at his house and left from there around 4.30 am to go to the embassy.
Indira had received her immigrant visa to travel to the United States to join her husband, Kissoon Raghubir who had migrated about nine years ago.
The woman had taken her son to uplift his visa yesterday and was returning home when the accident occurred.
Narine said the woman received injuries to her right hand and other parts of her body and had to undergo surgery late yesterday.
Her husband, who was devastated after hearing the news, is expected in the country today.
Indar and Indira Raghubir were sitting in the back seat of the car while Hinds was sitting next to the driver in front. She reportedly died minutes after being removed from the vehicle. Cameron was the last person taken from the wrecked vehicle and appeared to be in the “best” condition, Persaud said.
“If you de see this woman,” Persaud said. “A set ah she bone dem de break up and she de struggling to breathe. A lil after that she just tek a couple breaths and that was it.”
Persaud said that yesterday morning’s accident was one of many that occur along that stretch of road.
In a press release yesterday, GPHC said that around 8.30 pm on Tuesday, 36-year-old Intiaz Ally, of 30 Springlands, Berbice and Sundel Singh, 57, of 31 Second street, Success were taken to the Accident and Emergency Unit following an accident on the public road at Unity, Mahaica. Ally sustained injuries to the right hand and chest; and Singh sustained injuries to his head, the hospital said. They were both seen and admitted to the Male Surgical ward.
Meanwhile, hospital sources reported last evening that neither Cameron nor Raghubir had improved. The woman was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and Cameron, after spending several hours in the Male Surgical Ward, was also transferred there.
When Stabroek News visited the scene of the accident yesterday afternoon a crew from the Guyana Power and Light Company was replacing the damaged electricity pole. A member of the crew said it was a “regular thing” for motorists to slam into posts but most escaped without injury.
(Additional reporting by Shabna Ullah)