A West La Penitence man was killed early yesterday morning after he was struck by a Route 32 bus while riding his motorcycle along the Goed Fortuin Public Road, at West Bank Demerara.
Dead is Joseph Samuel James, called “Joe” and “Kartel,” of Lot 54 Walter Terrace, West La Penitence, Georgetown, who was a labourer at Noble House Seafoods.
The police said yesterday that the bus driver who hit James was drunk but he has claimed that he was robbed prior to the accident and then forced into the bus by his assailants, one of whom reportedly ran into James. It was noted that his account contradicts the account given by a witness. He is in custody.
The accident occurred around 3.30 am.
In a press release, the police said that the driver claimed that he was proceeding in minibus BSS 9898 north along the western carriageway of the public road when he stopped to urinate.
It added that it was during this time that he claimed he was robbed of his jewels by the occupants of a car, who then forced him into his minibus.
James, who was proceeding in the same direction on motorcycle CH 9495, was struck down after which the driver of the bus lost control of the vehicle and ended up in a trench.
After the accident, James was taken to the West Demerara Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The police said the Route 32 bus driver was subjected to a breathalyser test, which found that his estimated blood alcohol content was above the legal limit.
At the time of the accident, James was heading home from a lime he had attended at Middle Road, Pouderoyen.
When Stabroek News visited his home yesterday, scores of family members and friends had gathered after they had received the news of his death. His mother, Gloria Lewis, said she last saw him alive around 9 pm on Friday evening, when he informed her that he was going out. The woman said while James did not say where he was heading, she learnt that he attended a lime at Middle Road, Pouderoyen with some friends.
Lewis explained that the family learnt of the accident after an individual visited their home during the wee hours of yesterday morning. “Joe get kill on the road,” she recalled being told.
As a result, she said that along with a few other relatives and neighbours, she immediately left for the scene of the accident. However, when they arrived there, James’ body had already been taken to the hospital.
“The bus went in the drain and the bike went middle ah the road split in two,” a relative noted.
James was a father of three.