Two children are dead after they rode into a car along the One Mile Wismar Road, Linden yesterday.
Aquilah Samuels, 4, died on the spot, while her cousin Shaka Anthony, 13, succumbed on the operating table at the Linden Hospital Complex approximately two hours after the incident.
According to eyewitness reports, Anthony was towing Samuels on a pedal cycle, after collecting her from the One Mile Nursery School, when the accident occurred.
In a statement, police said investigations revealed that an oil tanker, bearing licence plate GFF 9050 and the car, PKK 8621, were proceeding in opposite directions along the roadway when it is alleged that, the children rode out from an access road and collided with the motor car.
As a result of the collision, the two children fell off the bicycle into the path of the tanker and were run over. The two drivers are being held at the Mackenzie Police Station, where they are assisting with the investigations, police added.
A man, who said he witnessed the incident, told Stabroek News that the two children were heading out of the Daffodil Street corner when it appeared that the boy’s bicycle brakes failed, resulting in a collision with the front of the car that was heading towards Wisroc on the Main road. “Is the car he hit from the front. [Neither] the car nor the tanker [was] speeding, but they couldn’t see them coming out of that street,” he said.
The man, whose account was supported by a stall holder in the area, added that the driver of the car immediately applied brakes when he noticed the children.
“It was too late. They hit the front of the car and the number plate break off and that is what make the lil boy fall off the cycle and the lil child lef on the cycle pitch and hit the back wheel of the truck. The driver didn’t even know that he run over somebody. This case you can’t blame none of the drivers,” added another eyewitness.
Persons in the area said that most of fuel tanker, which is operated by the BOSAI Mineral Group Inc., was already on the pedestrian crossing when the children rode out on to the main road. The driver of the car was unable to spot the children earlier because the position of a number of stalls at the corner of the road obstructed his view.
According the residents, the driver of the car drove a few yards away from the scene and fixed the broken number plate. “A woman hold on on him and was hollering. She see exactly what happen then she tell him look he number plate get break,” a resident said. He fixed the number plate back in place, drove a few yards further away for a second time when a bystander indicated to him that the number plate had fallen off again. At that point, the driver assisted residents in putting Anthony, who was still alive, in the car and he was taken to the Linden Hospital Complex. “The poor tanker driver left in a daze. He ain’t get off [the tanker] because no big truck ain’t supposed to be using this road. They supposed to be driving on the Wisroc/Block 22 back road, which would lead them to the bridge. But they don’t hear. They always speeding down this road and it very dangerous,” wailed a woman.
Aquilah and Shaka, first cousins of One Mile Extension, Wismar, Linden, lived together with their mothers. Aquilah’s mother, Keisha Anderson, had left for Georgetown early yesterday morning to take a brother for medical care.
“’Quilah was she only child! Ow wah a gon tell me sister now,” cried Afi Hinckson, Shaka Anthony’s mother. The distraught mother said that one of her sons would usually take on the responsibility of bringing the four-year-old home from school on a daily basis. “Most time she does stay with a teacher friend ’til them boys come home and they would go and collect her,” she explained.
Shortly after 11, Shaka had returned home from the Mackenzie High School, where he was a First Form student. Just barely able to speak, Hinckson explained that upon his arrival home, the lad kept checking the time to go for his cousin. “They really loved each other, they were like best friends,” she said, while trying to hold back her tears.
Hinckson said that she advised her son to go on foot to collect his cousin. “But he keep begging and ah seh, ‘man go long.’ Now, look what happen… Wah we gon tell the fathers? They gon say they lef we fuh take care of them children and we mek they geh kill like this. Ow God? How ah gon tell them dah now?”
The fathers of the children, Edward Samuels Jr. and Shawn Anthony, were both at work in an interior location and up to press time had no knowledge of the accident.
Dr. Peter Chen, who is attached to the Linden Hospital, said that he had hopes that Shaka was going to make it. X-ray results had shown that he had extensive damage to his left shoulder and hand. Doctors fought hard to stabilise the boy, who Chen said would have had to have his hand amputated. He succumbed to his injuries on the operating table, approximately half hour after he was taken into the theatre.
Scores of residents converged at the accident scene. Most of the women were crying uncontrollably. “Look she poor lil lunch bags on she back. Such a pretty little girl,” cried one woman. The girl is believed to have died on the spot.