Teen mum dies in Houston accident

A motorcycle accident on the Houston, East Bank Demerara public road on Monday morning claimed the life of a 19-year-old mother while another person was injured and is hospitalised.

Paulette Josiah of Lot 127, Block CC, Eccles, East Bank Demerara succumbed to her injuries at the Georgetown Public Hospital where she had been receiving medical attention. Josiah was the pillion rider while the injured person, Melroy Barnwell, 27, of Laing Avenue, La Penitence, was steering the motorcycle at the time of the accident.

Traffic Chief Dion Moore told Stabroek News that the motorcycle, CG 8485, was proceeding south on the easternmost side of the four-lane road while a car travelling in the opposite direction, was on the lane next to it. Normally, two lanes are for vehicles travelling south but during weekday mornings, three lanes, including one normally used by southbound traffic, are opened for vehicles travelling north.

Paulette Josiah
Paulette Josiah

Moore explained that the motorcycle overtook a vehicle but at the same time, it was noticed that the car was approaching and Barnwell applied brakes, which resulted in Josiah pitching off the motorcycle.

Moore said at no time, did the car and the motorcycle come into contact. However, the car drove over the rear wheel of the motorcycle. The traffic chief also disclosed that none of the riders were wearing  safety helmets.

Josiah’s mother, Lawan Josiah, told Stabroek News that the accident occurred between 7 and 8am. The woman recounted that she was at home when she received a message informing her that her daughter was involved in an accident. Lawan said when she arrived at the scene, her daughter had already been rushed to the hospital.

The grieving mother recalled that she rushed to the hospital where her daughter was receiving medical care in the Accident and Emergency Unit. She said Josiah was gasping for breath and had injuries on her thigh and abdomen. Lawan related that the doctors also informed her that Josiah was bleeding internally. The young woman subsequently succumbed.

Lawan lamented that she has not received any word on the police investigations. She said the police had told her to go to the hospital today to witness the autopsy.

Josiah was a former member of the X-factor dance troupe and had attended the Covent Garden Secondary School. She is survived by her three-year-old son, mother and other siblings.

Moore, meantime, has called on riders to wear approved safety helmets even as he pointed out that

motorcycle accidents are the second highest cause of road fatalities.

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