At least seven persons had to be rushed to Georgetown Hospital yesterday afternoon following a collision at the Houston bypass, East Bank Demerara.
Up to late yesterday afternoon, Brian Hintzen, 30, Julius Dublin, 31, Tracy Mohan, 19, Tameka Allen, 17, Latoya Johnson, 19, Pauline Gentle, 32 and Ihebba Bentham, 39, were receiving treatment.
They are all believed to have been passengers of a Route 31 (Georgetown to Patentia) minibus, BRR 1047,
which was on its way to the city.
The accident occurred at around 1:30 pm, when the driver of a car PJJ 427 hit the bus, causing it to careen into a parked Canter GNN 703 belonging to Rent-A-Tent. The car ended up on its side after smashing a hole in the concrete fence at Rent-A-Tent, while the Canter ended up on the bridge leading into the compound.
The driver of the car told Stabroek News it was another driver who was driving alongside him who caused the accident.
He said he swerved to avoid hitting that other car and ended up hitting the minibus. He added that the other driver did not stop after the accident.
But the distraught minibus driver and his passengers laid the blame squarely at the feet of the driver of the car who hit him. The interior of the bus was badly mangled and this vehicle appeared to have the most damage.
At the scene, about two minutes after the accident occurred, there was pandemonium, while traffic slowed to a crawl as curious motorists stopped to get a glimpse.
A woman believed to be a passenger of the minibus was wailing as persons were being pulled to safety from the vehicle. A man was trapped in the mangled front section of the bus. Public-spirited citizens rocked the front passenger door until it broke in their efforts to free him. He was lifted out he was gently and placed on the ground as a man carefully poured water over his head. A fire engine later arrived at the scene and took him to the hospital.
Several other persons, including at least one with a broken leg and several with puncture wounds, were later taken to the hospital.
An ambulance from the Georgetown Hospital arrived after everyone had already been rushed to the hospital for treatment.
At the hospital, a passenger who was in the minibus recalled that the driver of the car PJJ 427 was in the same lane with the minibus when he attempted to turn right off the Houston Public road.
She said he then quickly attempted to get back into the lane, prompting the minibus driver, who was driving at a fast rate, to turn left to avoid hitting him. She said that since the driver of the minibus was speeding, he was unable to stop before hitting the parked Canter.
Other passengers who were travelling in the minibus told Stabroek News that the vehicle was overloaded with at least five persons above its seating capacity.
A La Parfaite Harmonie resident, who said she joined the bus from that area, explained that the driver of the bus was well known for speeding and she only caught that bus because she had to urgently travel to George-town and that was the only bus available at the time.
Sonita Hintzen, wife of Brian Hintzen, was unsure about the severity of her husband’s condition.
She added that her husband had left home and was travelling to Georgetown to collect their daughter from school when the accident occurred.