By Kenesha Fraser
The mother of 21-year-old Kelton Benjamin who is missing and feared drowned after a boat collision in the Pomeroon River on Sunday says that she is not satisfied with the police investigation or the efforts to locate the body of her son.
Shevon Benjamin said that she was in the boat when the accident occurred.
“I was also in the boat heading to a church function in the Lower Pomeroon when we got in the accident. We had a flashlight in our boat that we were using and when we saw the boat coming towards us, the man who had the light shining for the driver stood in the boat and started waving it to signal the driver of the other boat that they were coming directly towards us. The driver of our boat even tried to swerve out from the other boat to avoid the collision but the boat still hit us.”
Benjamin related that after the impact her son who was sitting at the back of the boat fell overboard.
“We begged them (occupants of the other boat) to help us because we told them that my son fell overboard but they didn’t. They just left us right there and drive away. We started searching for my son the best way we could but we couldn’t really do anything because the motor was ripped off of the boat and it went down. We were forced to wait in the boat until some other persons came to tow us to Charity. When we got there, we went to the police station and the other people were already there and they told the police that it was our boat that hit them and started saying that money run things. I’m sorry that we did not have anything to record them while they were talking.”
Shevon Benjamin said that she was displeased that no efforts were made to locate her son on Sunday night.
“We were told by the police that they didn’t had any boat to travel to the scene of the accident so nothing could have been done.
On Monday, we independently started searching for the body of my son and we are still searching. At least ten boats are assisting with the search. We just found the motor cover but there is no police here to see where we fished it from. The police went on Monday with the driver of the other boat and they took pictures and the driver told them that we were on the left side of the river but we were on the right bank and we had a flashlight. They are claiming that we had no light but why should we lie about that? All of the persons who were in the boat are church persons and we were heading to church.”
When they were called to give statements on Monday, Benjamin said that the driver of the other boat was allowed to hear what they were saying.
“He was sitting right there as a normal person listening to everything that we were saying. I don’t believe that was the right thing. On Sunday night he even had alcohol in his boat which led us to think that they were consuming it. After we left the police station on Sunday night, we went and took pictures of the alcohol in his boat. I’m hoping that an investigation can be launched into the matter.”
She added that the family was told by the Regional Chairman Parmanand Persaud that the Coast Guards would assist in helping to locate the body but this was not done since the family had to hire divers on Monday and Tuesday.
Up to press time, the body of Kelton Benjamin had still not been found.
The family is hoping that a thorough investigation can be conducted by the police.