Five persons – including a mother and two of her children – were killed yesterday in a head-on collision between a car and a paddy truck along the Number 59 Village Public Road, Corentyne.
The driver of the car who died was identified as Dhanpaul Kishandayal, 37, of Lot 2 `D’ First Street, Bel Air, Georgetown. The other victims were identified as Sabita Manglani, Proprietress/ Manager at Sabita Immigration Services at Maraj Building on Charlotte Street, her sons Emmanuel Manglani, 18, and Ethan Ramjeet, 5, and her secretary Reshma Seeram, 28, of Leonora. The truck driver has been identified as Budhram Singh also known as `Buddo’, 30, of Number 49 Village, Corentyne. He has since been admitted to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital for observation.
The accident occurred sometime around 2 pm and the five persons who died were reportedly heading to the Number 63 Beach on the Corentyne for a Sunday outing.
At Manglani’s home in Georgetown, family members were in disbelief at the news. A sister-in-law who resided at the home wept uncontrollably. She was comforted by neighbours and other relatives who gathered at the home. An aunt, Jeanette, told reporters that the group left home without informing anyone of where they were going. The aunt constantly asked reporters if it was true that five persons had died in the horrific accident.
According to information gathered, motor car, PPP 3394 was travelling east when the driver suddenly encountered a pothole along the Number 59 Village Public Road. The car reportedly spun and toppled several times and then collided with the paddy truck GZ 2763 which was travelling in the opposite direction.
As a result of the impact, two passengers were flung out of the car while three others were pinned in the vehicle. Stabroek News was told that firefighters were summoned to the scene. They then cut the top of the car and removed the other victims. The bodies of the dead were taken to the Skeldon Public Hospital. Singh was rushed to the Skeldon Public Hospital and later transferred to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital.
A resident of Number 59 Village, James Ramnarine, 70, told this newspaper yesterday afternoon that he heard when the car landed in the pothole which is located directly in front of his house. “Me hear when the car enter the hole and then he start spin couple time and then after the other house it turn over and the truck did coming from the other side and like the man try drive in the koker to save the car but the car go with the speed and knock into he truck”.
James said he rushed to the scene where he saw that all the passengers of the car were unconscious. “One body went outside the car and the small boy body went out too and the rest went in the car”, he explained. Residents noted that the gruesome scene of the accident is one they’ve never witnessed before.
Stabroek News visited the New Amsterdam Public Hospital last evening and was told that the driver of the truck sustained minor injuries about his body and has since been admitted for observation.
Officer in Charge of Traffic in Berbice, Denis Stephen, after speaking with the truck driver at the hospital told this newspaper, that Singh said, “He was proceeding in the opposite direction of the car and he (Singh) observed this car with a speed drive into the pothole and lost control and came across towards him”. He added that the driver stated, “that upon seeing this he applied brakes and stopped his vehicle but the car came and collided into his right side front and cause his vehicle to topple on the left side”.
The truck’s trailer at the time was filled with paddy and as a result of the impact toppled. Paddy was scattered on the road in the process. When Stabroek News arrived on the scene several workmen were seen sweeping up and bagging the paddy, while attempts were being made to remove the mangled vehicles from the road.
Meanwhile, residents took the opportunity to plead with the relevant authorities to look into fixing the pothole. One resident said, “Y’all beg the NDC to fix this thing, long now we telling them to fix it and nobody na bother to us, y’all ask the region and see and help we”.
According to another resident, that pothole has played a role in several other accidents in the past with the most recent one being in August. “Two car crash in August but thank God nobody na get hurt, look people dead now and them go come see fa fix it now”, said an angry resident of the Number 59 Village, Corentyne.