An elderly man died on the spot yesterday when a Mayor and City Council tractor and trailer ran over his head on Water Street. The driver of the vehicle who fled the scene moments after the impact has since been detained by the police.
Dead is Compton Lacon, 73 years of Mocha Arcadia, East Bank Demerara.
Police said in a release that they are investigating the accident that occurred at about 1230 hours yesterday at Water Street and the John Fernandes Wharf Access Road (which runs alongside Bounty Supermarket), Georgetown, and which resulted in the death of Lacon.
Initial investigations revealed that an M&CC tractor with trailer attached was proceeding north along the western side of Water Street while Lacon was walking along the western pavement on Water Street, when he was struck by the left rear wheel of the tractor as the driver was negotiating a turn. The victim died on the spot, the release added.
Lacon died shortly after buying a card for his son who will be celebrating his 44th birthday on Friday. A distraught Lyndon was clutching the card when Stabroek News visited relatives yesterday.
According to Pauline- the eldest of Lacon’s seven children, sometime after 1500 hours she received a telephone call from a police officer instructing her to go to the Brickdam Police Station to collect her father’s identification card. The officer also told her that her father was involved in an accident but did not go into details. She said that she was under the impression that Lacon was receiving treatment at a hospital.
The grief-stricken woman said that she immediately left her Kitty home for the police station where she was handed her father’s NIS card, his identification card and $1000. It was shortly after this that the grim news of her father’s death was broken to her.
“He (the officer) turn and tell me that he (Lacon) didn’t make it”, Pauline told Stabroek News adding that she immediately started to cry.
Later, she accompanied the police to the Lyken’s Funeral Home where she was only able to recognize her father by his chin. The woman said that because of the condition of her father’s face he was almost unrecognisable.
Pauline said that the police told her that her father was standing on Water Street and his shirt was hooked by the tractor which dragged him several feet.
The woman said that she last spoke to Lacon on Sunday and he was his usual talkative self. She said that he was a friendly person who talked to all her neighbours whenever he was in the area.
Relatives said that Lacon took care of his mother who is 100 years old. Two of his brothers also resided with him.
Meanwhile, this newspaper was told that the man had lost his pension book and yesterday would have collected some six months worth of money. From all accounts, the man would have already collected the money when he was hit down but only $1000 was found in his possession at the accident scene.
There was chaos at the scene when Stabroek News arrived. The police had already cordoned off the area, and Lacon’s remains were covered with a bag. Many persons flocked to the scene.
Persons in the area, described the M&CC employee as a driver who is always reckless. Several vendors told this newspaper that after the collision the driver ran away but he returned to the scene sometime later and was questioned by ranks before he was whisked away in a police car.
One vendor told Stabroek News that Lacon was apparently shopping moments before the incident but she could not say if the man was just standing at the side of the road or was attempting to cross when he was struck down.
The woman said that the driver is known to be “wild bad. He always deh driving speed”.
City Mayor Hamilton Green told reporters that the man’s death is regretted and in light of the incident, “over congestion” in that area would have to be looked at.
Quizzed about the driver, Green said “Yes I know where the driver is and he has been told not to speak to anybody”, adding that at the time of the accident he was on his way to deliver equipment to the pump located at an outflow channel in the Stabroek Area. The driver, he said, would use the street where the accident occurred, regularly.
“I said he is not making statements now. But I spoke to him”, the Mayor said when again asked if the driver had recounted the moments leading up to the accident to him. “I am satisfied that he was carrying out his normal duties. It is unfortunate…” he added.