A six-month old infant was among two killed along the Mabura Road, when a minibus collided head on with a truck yesterday morning.

Elvis Bennett, 38, of Ruimveldt, Georgetown and infant Melisa Douglas, of Mahdia, died on the spot. They were both passengers of the bus, BMM 9301, which was bound for Mabura when the accident occurred, at about 11:30 am. Police last evening said the bus was moving at a fast rate and while negotiating a turn along 35 Miles, Mabura the driver ended up in the lane of the truck, which bore licence plate number GNN 2699.

Bennett and the child were pronounced dead on arrival at the Linden Hospital Complex, where 13 other passengers and the driver of the bus as well as the driver and an occupant of the truck were treated. Some who suffered serious injuries were later rushed to the Georgetown Hospital for further treatment.
The scene at the Linden Hospital was chaotic as persons tried to find their injured relatives, while the medical team tried desperately to provide them with the best possible care before transporting them to the city.

The truck after the collision along the Mabura Road.

The occupants of the truck were identified as George Allen and his son, Sekky Jassento.  The driver of the bus was identified as Curtis Garraway, of Nandy Park, Georgetown, while passengers included the mother of the dead child, Bonita Douglas, Grover Adams,  Simone Lyght, Natasha Young, of Caneville, Grove, East Bank Demerara, Vernon Keryenhoff, of New Road Vreed-en-Hoop, Carla Johnson of Mahdia, and Patricia Liverpool.

Liverpool, a mother of five, suffered head and leg injuries and was said to be in a serious condition when she was admitted at the Georgetown Hospital. Her husband, who is the station sergeant at the Mahdia Police Station, said that he felt responsible for his wife. According to him, because he had to be at work for three months before returning home, he forced his wife to go visit him. “She was afraid to come but it was me who forced her and this is what happened,” he said.

‘Crash up’
Speaking to the Stabroek News, a still traumatised Young recounted that the minibus suffered a blowout while on the way to Mabura and the crash occurred shortly after they replaced the tyre and returned back on the trail. By that time, they changed drivers.

Some of the persons who responded to the scene surveying the minibus, where the body of Elvis Bennett was still pinned.

“We didn’t reach far and then I heard all this screaming, then is when I realised that is crash we crash up,” Young said.

She recalled someone lying on her and the body of the dead man hanging through the bus window. Overcome by emotion, Young struggled as she spoke highly of her confidence in the bus driver. She said that the man was never the speeding type and she added that she was sure that he was driving at a moderate speed when the accident occurred. She had no clue what caused the collision.

Young said that it was other travelers who turned up on the scene shortly after that resulted in the quick transport of the injured to Linden.

Brother of the deceased man, Earl Bennett, said that fear gripped him when news of the accident reached him as he was positive that his brother was on the ill-fated bus.

He spent long hours at the Linden Hospital in the hope of seeing his brother arriving alive, but this was not to be. After hearing the description of the man who had died, he was positive that it was his brother.

“He is employed at Rusal and he just decided to take a run to Mahdia and now he dead,” he said.

A man who was on scene alleged that the bus was at fault because it was in the lane of the truck and from all appearances the truck tried to evade the collision, causing the driver to careen off the road.

Passengers in a pick-up, PNN 4440, who had stopped to assist the accident victims, had their fair share of thrills. According to the driver, his vehicle suffered a blowout some fifteen miles from Linden. However, the seven passengers on board only suffered minor injuries, although the vehicle toppled several times before coming to a halt.

Two days ago, there were three other accidents along the same trail. According to reliable sources, a car careened off the road into a gully at 46 Miles, Mabura, while two other turned over along the Mabura/Omai Road while negotiating a serious turn. “People ought to take their time when driving on this road especially at this time when the road is dry and dusty. These bricks are serious and can cause vehicles to skid easily,” said a concerned resident.