One person is dead and several others injured after two vehicles heading south along the Pearl Public Road on the East Bank of Demerara collided with each other and speeding was said to be a key factor.
Dead is 44-year-old police officer, Sherwin Denny, a father of one of Lot 50 C, Haley Street, Wortmanville while those injured are the driver of one of the two vehicles Patrick DeFreitas, his 20 year old son Michael Whyte and a 12 year old boy. Whyte was hospitalized at the Georgetown Public Hospital with minor injuries while De Freitas and the teenager escaped with minor cuts and bruises.
According to reports, around 3:30 pm yesterday a Toyota Tacoma, GLL 6749 driven by Defreitas and an AT 212 motorcar bearing licence plate PKK 5014 were heading towards Timehri in the vicinity of Pearl, EBD when the two collided, the drivers lost control of both vehicles and ended up in a trench on the left hand side of the roadway. The collision occurred close to a bridge which was recently renovated on a turn on entry to Pearl.
Denny and the injured were travelling in the Tacoma and he was reportedly sitting in the passenger side of the left hand drive vehicle when the accident occurred. The occupants of the car, the driver and a female friend of the deceased, escaped with minor cuts and bruises, the occupants of both vehicles were heading to a location on the East Bank of Demerara where a dog was going to be prepared for mating.
The woman who was in the car told this newspaper that the driver of the Tacoma made an attempt to overtake the car several yards away from the bridge, and as he attempted to negotiate the oncoming turn, his vehicle collided with the car. She said the vehicles then “start swerving”, both plunging into the trench at the side of the road. She said that she and the driver were “lucky”, since the car “climbed onto” the rails at the side of the bridge before coming to a halt at the side of the trench.
According to an eyewitness, who was at his home carrying out his chores he heard a loud impact on the roadway, and on investigating, he observed the two vehicles in the trench, several seconds after, as the occupants of both vehicles cried out for assistance. Other persons at the scene told this newspaper that the driver of the car was speeding and he had “pulled up” alongside the pick-up as the latter attempted to overtake at the turn close to the bridge.
A nearby resident related that the policeman was “hanging” out of the Tacoma as the vehicles sat in the trench while the driver of the car by this time, had swum across to the man’s assistance. The man breathed his last on the way to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre in the vicinity of Grove as the injured were being ferried to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.
When this newspaper arrived at the scene traffic was moving at snail’s pace, as curious on-lookers converged to get a glimpse of the wrecked vehicles. The pick-up was being pulled out of the trench by a tow truck while the owners of the car attempted to remove articles from the vehicle and the dog at the centre of the event was tied to a nearby electrical pole. The driver of the car, meantime, stood with a blank stare in his eyes, the man escaped with a few scratches to his hands and by this time tensions between relatives and friends of those involved in the accident, peaked.
At the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, family members and friends of the deceased and injured gathered and discussed the afternoon’s events as the driver of the Tacoma, DeFreitas wept as he called out his friend, Denny’s name. With his wife, who was in another vehicle at the time of the accident, clutched to his side, De Freitas said briefly to Stabroek News that he was going to “breed the dog” with his friends and family members when the accident occurred. With tears streaming down his face and his right elbow bandaged, the man wept uncontrollably as Denny’s body was being taken to the Lyken’s Funeral Home. The man was reluctant to seek further medical attention despite the urging of family members.
At Denny’s home, several friends arrived as news of his passing spread, many persons recounting vivid memories of the police officer who was stationed at Bartica. According to a relative, the father of one only returned to the City two days ago and he would normally socialize with his “many friends” the woman noted.
The driver of the car was taken into police custody at the Madewini Police Station late yesterday afternoon while the driver of the pick-up was being questioned by police ranks at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.
There have been several fatal accidents on the roadways over the past several weeks; last weekend 25-year-old Tony ‘Rocky’ Tayloo, a pedal cyclist of Fort Ordnance, East Canje, died on the spot while Sureshdyal Kalipersaud of Sheet Anchor, East Canje, succumbed while receiving medical attention following an accident on the Canje Public road involving two speeding cars. The drivers of the two vehicles were subsequently remanded to prison on charges of dangerous driving.
On Wednesday last police officer Bertram Edwards succumbed at the Georgetown Public Hospital to injuries he sustained following an accident in which he was struck down by a vehicle while riding along the Mahaicony Public Road.
And on Friday afternoon, the relatives of ReadyMix truck driver Kenrick Mitchell were shocked to learn of the death of the 50-year-old man, who reportedly lost control of his motorcycle on the Houston Public Road. The man died on the spot.