A teenaged girl and her friend died in a three-vehicle smash-up on the Coverden, East Bank Demerara (EBD) public road after a SUV slammed into the motorcycle the duo was on early yesterday morning. The SUV also crashed into another car, injuring the driver.
Dead are Rudolph Bess, 23, of 220 Kaneville Gardens and Hansranie Persaud, 16, of 417 Golden Grove, EBD. Persaud had snuck out of her home to go to a party and she and Bess were returning home at about 3:50am when the smash-up occurred.
There were reports that bottles of alcoholic beverages were recovered from the SUV and the alleged driver Jason Baskarran, 23, of Timehri Public Road, EBD has been hospitalised. Also admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) is Yolanda Patterson, 42, of Paradise, East Coast Demerara, who was the driver of the other car. Patterson’s husband, Joseph, sustained minor injuries.
According to reports, Bess and Persaud, who was the pillion rider, were heading home on Bess’ motorcycle when the SUV, PHH 8034, driven by Baskarran slammed into them. Baskarran was driving on the eastern lane and his vehicle flipped several times and hit the Toyota Spacio, PMM 9768 that was being driven by Patterson, causing her to lose control of the car.
Bess and Persaud suffered injuries to their heads and bodies. Patterson sustained a laceration to her head, a fractured shoulder and whiplash injuries to her neck while Baskarran’s mother said though her son showed no physical signs of injuries and appeared well, she was told that he suffered head injuries.
Joseph Patterson told Stabroek News that he and his wife were returning home from the airport when the accident occurred. He recounted that while travelling, he noticed a group of six or seven motorcyclists speeding on the road. His wife was driving while he was sitting in the front passenger seat.
In the vicinity of Coverden, Patterson said, he saw a bright light approaching and not long after he heard a loud impact. “It all happened within seconds, after the impact, the vehicle lost (control) and toppled and came to us. After we got hit, I can recall our vehicle skating before it stopped,” the man recounted.
Subsequent to the collision, Patterson said, he observed his wife pinned in the driver’s seat. That side bore the brunt of the impact and was smashed in. He recalled that he called out to Yolanda and after she responded, he unbuckled his seat belt and went around the car and attempted to free her.
However, he was unable to and distraught, he called for help but after about three minutes, no one had responded. Patterson said during that time, he realised that their car was parked crossway on the road and the SUV was several feet away from the point of impact.
Several minutes later, Patterson recounted, residents arrived on the scene but did not help. He recalled a man came to him and said “’Brother leh me help you, yuh wife gone be
“He was in tears and said ‘I am sorry man, I am sorry, your wife gone be okay’… when I find out who he was, he said he was the driver,” Patterson recounted.
He said Baskarran attempted to help rescue his wife but their attempts failed as they lacked the manpower and equipment. Stabroek News learnt that after public-spirited persons saw their attempts to rescue the woman, they sourced a truck and tried to pull the door open to free Yolanda but that too failed. Subsequently, persons used an iron bar to wrench open the driver’s door and free her.
Patterson said seconds after his wife was freed, an ambulance arrived and she was placed in the vehicle and rushed to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre. Only the driver was in the ambulance.
Patterson said when they arrived at the medical centre, the doctor said they should go straight to the GPH as there was no staff to remove the injured Yolanda from the ambulance for her to have a medical evaluation.
“When we arrived at Diamond, a female …nurse in uniform came out and asked what happen and I told her it was an accident and she said she going and see to get a doctor. She went and when she came back, she said the doctor said we might as well take the injured down to Georgetown hospital because they don’t have an ambulance there and if he took her out, they don’t have staff to put her in back. I became more disoriented because this is my wife and she is badly injured and (the) doctor at an institution who was not engaged in any emergency, who could have at least come to ensure, to say this person could continue the journey to Georgetown hospital and say the person doesn’t have any serious injury… he did not show up,” a disappointed Patterson said.
Yolanda was taken to the GPH and admitted.
Meanwhile, Bess’ relatives said he left home on Saturday night and went to a house party in Soesdyke. Yesterday morning, they received a phone call and was told that he was involved in an accident. When they arrived on the scene, it was then that they discovered that Bess had succumbed.
His brother, Marlon Bess, explained that they found his brother’s body on the parapet next to a utility post. He added that his brother’s friends told the family that Bess was riding his Scrambler 125 motorcycle, PH 378, and they were ahead of him when the accident occurred. After they did not see Bess, they returned and made the discovery, Marlon said.
Relatives accused the police of allowing the driver of the SUV to leave the scene without performing a breathalyzer test. They said that beer bottles and Absolut vodka bottles fell out of the vehicle.
Meantime, Persaud’s uncle Rakesh Persaud told Stabroek News that the teen went to bed with her mother but during the course of the night, left and went to the party.
Police investigations are continuing.