Driver in Cotton Tree fatal accident granted bail

The West Coast Berbice contractor who struck down two school children last month killing one in the process was granted $380,000 bail by acting Chief Justice Ian Chang in the High Court on Tuesday last.

After being remanded to prison when he made his first appearance in the Magistrate’s Court, Mahendra Ramanan applied for bail in the High Court on July 1. According to sources last Tuesday in the absence of any representative of the state it was granted.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has since recommended further charges to be laid against the accused who allegedly presented a bogus driver’s licence to the police.

The DPP has advised that he be further charged with uttering a forged document, driving as an unlicensed driver and driving an uncertified motor vehicle. Further, the DPP has advised that if he is found driving he should be arrested immediately.

Ramanan had appeared in the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s Court on June 24 charged with the death of schoolgirl Jaswattie Ramnauth, who was killed on the Cotton Tree Public Road four days earlier. He was remanded to prison by Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo.

Ramanan, 36, of Number 2 Village, West Coast Berbice also faced charges of failing to render assistance and failing to report an accident in addition to causing death by dangerous driving. He was not required to plead to the causing death charge, while he pleaded not guilty to the other charges.

Reports are that while driving motorcar PMM 8812, Ramanan struck Jasmattie, 9, and her brother, Vijai, 7, both of D’ Edward Village. The girl appeared to have died on the spot while her brother had been hospitalized.

Following the accident, the driver allegedly fled the scene after joining the bus which was transporting the children to the Fort Wellington Hospital. The next day he surrendered to police in the company of his mother.

Ramanan’s attorney Tejnarine Ramroop had argued that his client, a married father of three, left the scene without rendering assistance because he felt threatened. He submitted too that Ramanan did not report the matter to the nearest police station because he was in a lot of pain. According to him, the contractor visited Dr Ganesh’s Clinic in New Amsterdam, where he collapsed.

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