Driver killed after pick-up overturns on Linden-Lethem trail

The driver of a pick-up was killed when the vehicle overturned after he lost control while trying to avoid a pothole on the Linden-Lethem road, close to Annai, North Rupununi, Region Nine yesterday.

Lionel Callender as he was being transported to the Emergency Room last night

Aaron Batson, 35, of Bagotville, West Bank Demerara was pronounced dead on arrival at the Annai Health Centre. Three persons, Clairmont St. Clair, 44, of ‘C’ Field, Sophia, Ronald Johnny, 61, of Karasabai Village, South Pakaraimas and Jordan Johnny, 17, also of Karasabai were air-lifted to the city for medical attention. They were undergoing treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital last evening. A fourth person, Nelson Rodrigues, 21, of El Dorado Village, West Coast Berbice was treated at Annai and sent away.

The quintet was heading to Lethem when the incident occurred at about 1:30pm yesterday. Reports said that Batson was driving at a fast rate and swerved to avoid a pothole at Massara Point, about 15 miles away from Annai. He lost control and the vehicle overturned pinning him inside.  Persons from the surrounding area rushed to their aid and the five were sped to the Annai Health Centre, where Batson was pronounced dead on arrival. Batson was reportedly attached to an oil company operating in the area. When Stabroek News visited his home yesterday, his emotional relatives refused to speak. One said they had received a phone call about the incident and were waiting to hear more.

A plane, which was in Gunn’s Strip, was diverted to Annai to pick up the injured. St. Clair reportedly sustained injuries to the chest while the elder Johnny sustained a fractured skull and the younger sustained cuts and bruises. They were scheduled to undergo x-rays last evening.
Batson’s body was taken to the Lethem Hospital morgue.

Yesterday’s accident adds to the list of fatal accidents that have occurred on the stretch of road between Annai and Lethem. On the morning of November 30 last year, a minibus and an SUV collided along the Hunt Oil Road, North Rupununi, resulting in the death of the three, including a toddler. Fourteen others were hospitalized. Killed in that incident were the driver of the mini-bus, Juliano D’Aguiar, 21, of Lethem; passengers Lalis Antone, 52, of Shea, Deep South Rupununi and three-year-old Brandon Grimmond of Lethem.

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