Brazilian diplomat killed in Lethem car crash

Theotonio Santa Cruz Oliveira

A Brazilian diplomat was yesterday morning killed instantly following a two vehicle smash-up at Lethem in Region Nine which has also left four persons including a toddler injured.

Theotonio Santa Cruz Oliveira, the Brazilian vice-consul in Guyana was identified as the person who died. Injured are Casslyn Singh, her two-year-old son, Gracelyn Nicholson, the secretary of the Brazilian consulate and a Bon Fim taxi driver whose name has not yet been released.

The Guyana Police Force in a press release stated that around 0710 hours Oliveira, 61, was driving his motor vehicle along the roadway at Lethem when “he collided with a motor vehicle proceeding in the opposite direction that had allegedly veered into his driving lane.” Traffic Chief Hugh Dehnert told this newspaper earlier that the collision occurred on a stretch of road that leads from the administrative building to the Takutu Bridge (on the Guyana side of the border).

 

Theotonio Santa Cruz Oliveira
Theotonio Santa Cruz Oliveira

 

Gracelyn Nicholson
Gracelyn Nicholson

The release stated that the diplomat sustained injuries and was taken to the Lethem Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Three other persons, according to the release, who were occupants of Oliveira’s vehicle along with the driver of the other motor vehicle who is also a Brazilian national sustained injuries and are in hospital receiving medical treatment.

Singh is the daughter of the REO of Region Nine, Claire Singh. When this newspaper made contact with her home, a relative said that she was in Boa Vista where Singh was taken for additional medical care.

According to a relative, Singh, her child and the other injured woman were taken across the border to a hospital in Boa Vista, Brazil after receiving initial medical attention at the Lethem Hospital. The relative said that the last word he got was that Singh was in a stable condition, suffering from a broken hand and head injuries. The relative said that an x-ray was done and the doctor was due to examine it to ascertain the extent of the woman’s injuries.

Singh’s son according to the relative, sustained an injury to his knee. Stabroek News was unable to ascertain the extent of the injuries that Nicholson sustained. The taxi driver was said to have suffered minor injuries. Stabroek News was unable to make contact with the relatives of Nicholson and Oliviera.

According to globo.com, the man’s ex-wife Ana Pereira Cyllene said that the taxi driver, who was driving his vehicle at high speed, entered the opposite lane causing the accident.

In the online media article, the woman said that the vice-consul was driving the vehicle on a street near the security barrier at Lethem and was going at about 50 miles per hour. “The taxi driver drove at high speed.

He lost direction and entered the opposite side of the track,” she was quoted as saying.

The accident scene (globo.com photo)
The accident scene (globo.com photo)

According to Cyllene, the vice-consul was giving a lift to the child and her mother. “He was going to Boa Vista to visit a friend. Every weekend he went to the capital,” she said.

The body of the vice-consul was brought to Boa Vista at around 4 pm and according to Cyllene he will be buried in Brasilia or Rio de Janeiro; he has relatives in both cities.

Cyllene said too that her ex-husband began his diplomatic career in 1975 and served on the border of Colombia and in Africa, and in 2010 was posted to Lethem, Guyana.

According to globo.com the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the death of Oliveira, but emphasised that it “shall not be disclosed information about the burial.”

This is the second fatal accident in Lethem in the past week.

On Tuesday, Roger King, 21, of Tabatinga, died after the motor cycle he was riding collided with a motor car at an intersection. The accident occurred around 4 pm.

He was taken to the Lethem Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

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