The 14-year-old, of Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, who lost his life in the freak accident at Abary Creek on Monday evening, when he was reported to have been pinned by a canter truck, was helping his rice farmer father when the mishap occurred.
The accident, which claimed the life of Doodnauth Sukhlal, also known as ‘Satesh,’ 14, of De Hoop Village, Mahaica, also left one of the rice farmer’s workmen, Conrad Williams, tractor operator of Lot 12 Cottage Village, West Coast Berbice, admitted in the Georgetown Public Hospital. Williams sustained injuries to his left hand, a fractured left leg and a hole in his left thigh.
According to a relative, rice farmer Deonarine Sukhlal, 51, also known as ‘Das,’ and his teen son left home early Monday morning to go to Abary Creek, where Sukhlal’s rice fields are located.
Sukhlal’s daughter, Seema Sukhlal, told Stabroek News that her father is still in shock and has not told anyone at home what transpired at the creek. However, she said, “We hear them did trying to cross the tractor on the pontoon when the canter roll and mash me brother.”
According to a police source, the mishap occurred around 6.30pm as the group was wrapping up the day’s work.
It was related that the truck was parked in a position so as to shine the vehicle’s headlights on the pontoon as they attempted to get the tractor across the water. The source relayed that driver exited the truck to assist the men with the crossing but reportedly did not apply the hand brake, resulting in the canter sliding and pinning the teen and Williams in the process. It was noted that the land on which the canter was parked was a bit swampy.
While the police, in a statement, said that Sukhlal was the driver of the truck, his family relayed that he has not confirmed to them who was driving.
Both the teen and Williams were rushed to the Fort Wellington Public Hospital. According to a source at the hospital, the teen sustained a puncture to the right side of his chest and was bleeding from his nose and ears when he arrived. He was pronounced dead on arrival. Williams, after receiving medical attention, was transferred to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital and then later to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.
Doodnauth Sukhlal is survived by his parents and five siblings. He was a Form Three student at the Hindu college located at Cove and John, Demerara-Mahaica. One of his sisters described him as a fun loving person.