Two drivers lost their lives in separate road accidents on Friday night and Saturday midday, while a third accident served to supply cases of beer and bags of flour to residents of Friendship.
The accidents occurred at Goed Fortuin, West Bank Demerara; Garden of Eden and Friendship, East Bank Demerara, respectively.
Dead are Hillary Augustus, 24, of Long Creek Linden/ Soesdyke Highway and Phillip Smith, 22, of Parfait Harmonie, West Bank Demerara.
The police said in a press release that at about 11.45 on Friday night, at Goed Fortuin, Smith drove motor car PGG 60 out of a side street and onto the main road into the path of motor car PHH 6692, resulting in a collision. The release said the latter vehicle was being driven by Guy Romain, 27, of Samaroo Dam, Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara. Smith, Romain and two other persons, both of whom were passengers in the latter’s vehicle, sustained injuries and were taken to the West Demerara Regional Hospital, where Smith succumbed. The release said the others are still receiving medical attention.
Meanwhile, at around midday yesterday, three vehicles, a route 42 minibus, a motor car and a motor lorry, were involved in an accident, which resulted in the death of Augustus. According to reports, Augustus, who was heading up the East Bank Highway towards his residence, driving motor car PLL 9283 overtook minibus BLL 8333, also headed in the same direction near the Guyana Defence Force farm. According to a police press release, at that very moment a truck, GNN 5714, was approaching in the opposite direction. Augustus swerved from the truck and collided with the minibus, which toppled. Augustus then collided with the truck.
All the injured, including Augustus, were taken to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre (DDC). These persons included 57-year-old Oudit Jettoo of Soesdyke/Linden Highway; Valerie Williams, 38, of Kuru Kururu; Donnellee Bascom, 12, also of Kuru Kururu; Taramattie Sookram, 41, of Madewini; and Clive Bagot, 28, of Soesdyke, the driver of the minibus.
Soon after they arrived at the DDC, Augustus, who was bleeding internally and whose arm was broken; Jettoo, who sustained injuries to the neck and right arm; and Sookram were referred to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH), where Augustus later succumbed.
When Stabroek News visited the GPH yesterday afternoon, Augustus’s sister Alicia Gill related that when she arrived at the DDC and examined the inside of her brother’s mouth, “I knew he was bleeding internally”. She said when the patients first arrived her brother was overlooked by workers there, who quickly took two other persons; who appeared not to have been as seriously injured as Augustus; into the emergency, and “they had my brother lying down in the stretcher as he was crying out for pain… they refused to attend to him”. The young woman related also that while he was waiting to receive medical attention, Augustus began wrestling with her, as “the pain was too unbearable for him”. When it was announced that Augustus had succumbed to his injuries, Gill fainted. When she was revived, she tearfully stated, “that brother is the best brother. I would do anything for him… this life is just not fair.”
This newspaper understands that the car did not belong to Augustus; he had borrowed it from a friend.
A source at the DDC late yesterday afternoon related that eight injured persons from the accident, who sustained mostly trauma about the body and several abrasions, received treatment there.
The police said Jettoo and Sookram were admitted to the GPH.
One of the survivors, an occupant of the minibus, related to this newspaper that before the accident the driver of the bus had encountered a fellow minibus driver and one was betting the other that “you can’t reach before that [vehicle] that jus pass deh”. She said that following this, the next thing she knew the bus had toppled.
The third accident took place some time around 7 yesterday morning, and involved a truck and a minibus. Mahendra Sooknanan, the manager of the truck—GMM 9344—said it was being driven by Ravi (only name given). He related to this newspaper that it was heading to Lethem, when, around Friendship, East Bank Demerara, Sooknanan said he was made to understand, a bus, heading in the same direction, overtook the truck, while another truck was heading their way. In order to avoid a collision with the other truck, Ravi reportedly swerved and ended up in a trench. As a result, he sustained abrasions to the face and other parts of his body.
The manager also related that at the time of the incident, Ravi was accompanied by a porter, who escaped unhurt. At the time too, the truck was laden with 400 bags of flour and 200 cases of beer. He said the vehicle normally transports flour destined for Brazil, from the flour mill in Guyana to Lethem.
Immediately following the incident and even up to press time last evening, persons in the Friendship neighbourhood were having a field day with the cases of beer and bags of flour, which they hurried to grab.