Two persons died while four others were injured after the car they were travelling in collided with a pick-up truck along the Unity Public Road, East Coast Demerara on Friday evening.
Kelvin Cort, 26, a taxi driver of Courtland Village, Berbice, and his cousin Jennifer Patricia Grant, a maid ward attached to the New Amsterdam Hospital and of Betsy Ground Village, East Canje, Berbice, died around 11.30pm on Friday while receiving medical attention at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH), where they were rushed after the accident.
Those injured were identified as Petal Thom, 35, her sister Fiona Thom, 38, their nephew Mark Thom, 16, of Liverpool Village, Corentyne, Berbice and Grant’s daughter, 18-year-old Jimacie Rebecca Grant, who were also passengers in the car. They were all admitted as patients at the hospital, where they regained consciousness yesterday. Their conditions were listed as stable.
The injured were all passengers of the car driven by Cort, who was a cousin of the Thom sisters, Petal and Fiona, as well as of the senior Grant.
The accident occurred around 7.30pm, while they were heading back to Berbice after picking up Petal Thom from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at Timehri. She had just arrived after spending a three-month vacation in the United States of America.
The police, in a statement on the accident, said enquiries revealed that Cort was driving motor car PFF 6778 east along the northern side of the road when the pickup, GMM 426, which was proceeding in the opposite direction, suddenly swerved into the path of the car and collided with it.
The driver of the pick-up has been arrested.
The injured Petal told Stabroek News that they were travelling on the public road when she felt the car flying into the air. Moments after this, the car was back on the roadway and all she remembered was crawling out of the wreckage.
Relatives and friends of the injured gathered at the hospital yesterday after they heard about the accident. They were relieved after learning that the injured survivors had regained consciousness and were out of danger.
Jennifer’s husband and Jimacie’s father, Richard Grant, said after he received a call from his mother-in-law about the accident, he found it hard to believe and decided to call their cellular phones. All the calls went to voicemail.
He later confirmed that his wife was among the two persons who died.
Richard said when he arrived at the hospital, Jimacie was unconscious. It was just after midday yesterday when she regained consciousness and was admitted to the female ward.
He said Jimacie related to him that she was taking a nap when she was awakened by a loud impact. This, he said, is all she remembered before waking up on the hospital bed.
A cousin of the victims, Avonie Lekha, recalled seeing her relatives less than an hour before receiving a call informing her of the accident. “They stop in by me in East La Penitence and use the washroom and so before they proceed home,” she said.
She added that after receiving a call informing her that Cort was involved in a serious accident, she immediately rushed to the hospital but was unable to visit them. “I went to the Accident and Emergency Unit and the nurses tell me I can’t go in. So, I sat down outside and wait a little, during which I see some of the them waiting to be attended to and the others going for x-rays and scans but I didn’t seeing Cort and Jennifer,” Lekha explained.
At this point, she sensed that something was amiss and then she heard loud wailing coming from the Unit, which was followed by the news of the deaths.
When contacted by this newspaper, Cort’s mother, Carol Cort, was still trying to come to grips with the fact that her only son was dead. It was still unclear to her what exactly transpired.
She recalled receiving a call from Petal’s wailing mother, who informed her about the accident. At that point, she said it was not confirmed who was dead or injured. Her worst fears were, however, confirmed after she made several calls to the police and hospitals.
Carol said she last saw her son alive around 2pm on Friday, when he left home for the airport.
The Guyana Police Force’s Traffic Department last week launched “Operation Safeway” to stem the 33% rise in fatal accidents recorded for the year.