“Them tek meh whole life,” said Iris Dillon yesterday as she continued to grieve for her son, 12-year-old Ezekiel Murray, who died after he was run over by a Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) truck that was allegedly speeding on Friday evening along the Friendship, East Bank Public Road.
The accident has ignited a zeal to “see justice served” amongst some of the residents of Friendship, East Bank Demerara, who say if the driver were cautious, Murray might still be alive.
Murray, a Friendship Secondary School student, was crossing the road when the accident took place. Although he was pronounced dead at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, witnesses said he died at the scene of the accident.
The driver, who was returning to the DDL compound at Diamond, was subsequently taken into custody by police.
DDL, in a statement that was issued on Friday evening, said it was saddened by the incident and offered heartfelt condolences to Murray’s family.
A cousin of Murray, Straton Arthur, recounted that the boy was standing at the corner of the road waiting to cross just before 6pm when he was hit by the truck.
The child was hooked underneath and dragged several yards before he was run over by the wheels of the lorry, Arthur said. Afterward, his cousin’s lifeless body was left sprawled on the road.
A woman, who said that she witnessed the accident, told Stabroek News that the driver, after realising that he had just killed the young boy, drove a little distance from the scene, then parked the vehicle. After taking a glimpse at Murray’s body, she added, the driver refused to approach and instead stood guard over the truck. He told the boy’s relatives that the vehicle contained a large sum of money that he collected for goods he delivered during the course of the day.
The witness suggested that the driver might have been afraid of receiving a sound trashing and that might have been his reason for refusing to go near the body, despite repeated urgings from the boy’s relatives to go and observe the body.
“Is four o’ them went in the truck; he and three porters. He couldn’t lef the three porters by the truck and come see wah happen to the child?” the woman questioned. She added that the driver requested that the child be transported to the hospital; however as the lad appeared dead and his body badly broken, nobody wanted to lift it.
Another relative noted that Murray’s entire body appeared to be broken-up while he had a huge gash to his head. A piece of broken bone from the child’s body was left on the road.
Dillon remained inconsolable yesterday while family members stayed by her side and encouraged her to be strong. During this newspaper’s visit to her home, she was surrounded by friends and family and was at the time speaking to officials from DDL, who were enquiring about the accident. She said the driver told her that the company would offer her compensation but the officials from DDL who visited her mentioned that they were not promising compensation since they were waiting on the results of the investigation before making a decision.
Dillon cried continuously as she recalled that her son was scheduled to return to Trinidad with her at the end of this month. The boy’s father currently resides in Trinidad.
The mother noted that they moved to Guyana in 2013 and Murray was admitted in a Common Entrance class at Craig Primary School. After he sat the Grade Six assessment, he was placed at Friendship Secondary School.
Murray is survived by five siblings.