A test drive ended tragically yesterday afternoon when the car was involved in a head-on collision with another motor vehicle on the Experiment, West Coast Berbice (WCB) public road.
The collision, which resulted in one of the cars bursting into flames and the other partially wrecked, claimed the lives of Nehru Bankay, 24, a tattoo artist and Shiv Hanoman-Persaud, 48, a mechanic both of Bush Lot Village, WCB.
The horrific accident occurred shortly after 1.35 pm and has also left five persons hospitalized. The injured persons are Nigel Trotz, 34, of 126 Main Street, Cumberland, East Canje, who was driving one of the cars; Fiona Rossoul, 32, of Canefield, East Canje; Phyllis Corlette, 41, of King Street, Cumberland, East Canje; Carmen Marks of New Amsterdam and Rookmaine Trotman of Bennett Dam, Rosignol. They all received initial medical attention at the Fort Wellington Hospital and were then transferred to the New Amsterdam and Georgetown Public Hospitals. Trotz and Rossoul are at New Amsterdam Hospital.
According to reports, Bankay was driving a Toyota MR2 Spyder racing convertible PJJ 6999, with Persaud-Hanoman in the front passenger seat. Trotz, driving a Toyota
212 HC 5367 was transporting passengers from Palmyra to Georgetown. Stabroek News understands that Bankay was reportedly speeding on the left lane, the same lane in which Trotz was driving when the two collided.
An eyewitness recalled that after the hire car driver saw the convertible approaching at a fast rate in his lane he applied brakes. However, the car smashed head-on into his, elevated some distance into the air, and toppled before bursting into flames.
After hearing the thunderous impact, many ran to the scene to offer assistance, but were kept back from the convertible because of the flames. However, public-spirited citizens formed a bucket brigade and not long after the fire service arrived and assisted.
It was then eye witnesses were able to get a clear view of the gutted car and saw the remains of the men.
Meanwhile, the injured victims in Trotz’s car had been taken to the Fort Wellington Hospital.
When this newspaper arrived on the scene, the charred remnants of the deceased persons were still in the convertible. Scores of curious persons had gathered and many waited to look on as the bodies were removed by members of the Guyana Fire Service, who had to use jack hammers and other heavy duty tools.
The convertible belonged to Dr Vish Persaud, who said his cousin, Hanoman-Persaud, had been working on the car and after fitting a cylinder on the engine that was not working, he had called on Bankay to go with him to take the car for a test drive. Hanoman-Persaud, who only remigrated to Guyana a few weeks ago was not the holder of
a valid driver’s licence. Bankay, therefore, drove the car.
When Stabroek News visited Bankay’s home yesterday family members were devastated. They declined to comment on the incident saying that the identities of the burnt bodies had not been confirmed. Nevertheless, at the scene, Bankay’s father told reporters that his son and Hanoman-Persaud had been working on the car for some time. He pointed out that they had left to go to an upholstery shop.
Hanoman-Persaud leaves to mourn his wife, three children and many other relatives and friends while Bankay is survived by his parents and other relatives and friends.
The accident comes days after the Guyana Police Force announced that speeding was a main contributing factor to road fatalities accidents in the country. Police investigations are continuing.