King Jared, whose common-law wife was killed after their motorcycle collided with a pile of mud on the Cummings Lodge Access Road last month, says he is awaiting compensation since he believes the accident was caused due to the negligence of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.
Janice Edwards, 38, of Lot 121 ‘C’ Field, Sophia, was the pillion rider on the motorcycle that Jared was riding north along the road in the early evening on August 16 when he was allegedly blinded by the light of an oncoming vehicle, causing him to swerve to his left into a pile of dirt on the road. Edwards was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Jared, meanwhile, suffered minor injuries to his body.
While Jared is currently home and has recovered from most of his injuries, he says he is walking with a limp and finds it difficult making it through the day without his wife by his side. The man told Stabroek News that the accident was not his fault, and emphasised that he is expecting some sort of monetary compensation from the government since he believes it was the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s responsibility for placing the pile of mud on the road.
“People don’t know what I going through. They see me here and see that I alive and walking and think everything is alright but only the father knows it, brother. Only the father knows how it feel to know is somebody you love and you ain’t do nothing wrong and they dead,” Jared lamented to this newspaper at his Sophia home.
The man explained that even though he has almost completely healed, he still cannot work because he is still traumatised. “I don’t even want to touch a bike anymore. I don’t even want to go anywhere anymore,” he said, while adding that he is expecting to get some sort of compensation from the government to help take care of his two children.
Jared emphasised that it was because of the mud pile that there had been the accident which had led to his wife’s death.
When Stabroek News enquired about the deposits of mud on the road, an official from the ministry had explained that the mounds of soil were from the drainage and rehabilitation roadworks which began last month. It was explained that following complaints about the state of the road, works were initiated to remedy the situation and, as a result, the drains in the bordering trench were cleared, as the primary cause of the sinking in the roadway was found to be poor drainage.
The road was cleared the next day but residents say that they are still not satisfied since they had been raising issue about the mud for several weeks before the accident.
“You could ask anybody. Everybody was asking for them to move it from the road ’cause it didn’t make any sense but they still left it there for weeks. For weeks, cars and bikes had to be careful and they waited until one serious accident happen to move it,” Jared added.
Multiple residents around the area also explained that they had been worried about the soil deposits since they were first left on the road. One said it was a disaster waiting to happen as the road very narrow and filled with depressions and holes on both sides. There are also no street lights, which leaves the road “pitch black” during the nights.
“If you didn’t know that those things were there then you would’ve been in serious trouble in the nights, because you does only see them when you reach to them,” Jared explained.
He explained that since the accident they had not heard anything from the police or the ministry and was unsure of what is going on. He added that he only wants for his children to be taken care of and blamed the ministry for leaving the large mud deposits on the road.