The husband of the woman who tragically lost her life in the accident at the Number 58 Village, Corentyne on Monday morning has made an emotional plea for persons to stop parking vehicles along the Corentyne main road.
The woman, Soorojnie Surjraj, 52, the office accountant at a gas station, and of Lot 13 Section ‘A’ Grant 1805 Crabwood Creek, reportedly died on the spot, while her daughter, Bomika Neha Sukhra, 15, and her mother, Khemnie Chanchal, 70, sustained injuries about their bodies, after the driver of the car which they were travelling home in, reportedly fell asleep and slammed into a parked lorry along the Corentyne Public Road.
Chanchal, who sustained a broken left leg and other injuries about her body, was rushed to the Skeldon Hospital and subsequently transferred to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital. However, on Tuesday, the woman was transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital. The deceased’s daughter who sustained minor injuries has since been cleared by doctors at the Skeldon Public Hospital.
Roopnarine Sukhra, 62, on Tuesday told Stabroek News, that he had the opportunity to speak with the driver of the car. “He tell me ‘ow uncle me sorry me na know what happen’ when I see him,” the grieving husband recounted, while adding, “I forgive that young man because it was an accident. What we can do? I don’t think he willfully do anything”.
Sukhra said no matter how painful it may be, as a road user himself, he somehow understands that accidents do happen. The man does not believe that the man should be charged, while stressing that the young man has to live with the outcome of the accident and that was punishment enough.
Sukhra stressed that he believes more attention needs to be paid to farmers and other persons who park their machinery along the main access road which he considers very dangerous. “People using the roads to do everything. Park all them vehicle, dry rice, if them want cement, them use the road. This has to stop and we got to be more careful”.
Sukhra recalled that when he was a teenager a young female from his village died after she rode into one of the parked vehicles along the roadway on the Corentyne,”… this going on for years and 90 percent of the dangerous accident, and people dead because of that”.
The widower also recollected on the times he had spent with his wife, noting that she was the “perfect woman”. The husband said, “We spent 28 years together, we build house and do everything”.
A source told Stabroek News, that the investigation into the accident was continuing and the owner of the truck, GMM 9207, had also been brought in for questioning as part of the investigation.
The Prime Minister’s Representative in Region Six, Gobin Harbhajan has been pressing the issue for persons who park vehicles over a certain period of time on the Corentyne main access road to be fined. While stressing that owners of the machinery need to take responsibility, Harbhajan said on Tuesday “I believe that these farmers (owners) should face charges and the families of the people that died or were injured should sue them”.
The Prime Minister’s representative said he is furious over the issue since he says that for years now he has been trying to get the relevant ministries and authorities which are responsible for the road shoulders involved. “Rice farmers park these machinery for months on the road, and it has become a hazard not only for drivers, but all road users”.
He stressed, “We need to get a policy in place and we must impose hefty fines for these offences, farmers shouldn’t feel it’s okay to just park their vehicles on the main road and leave it there”.
Stabroek News spoke with a traffic source who indicated that persons can be charged for leaving vehicles parked (unattended) on the road shoulders for a long period of time. Another traffic officer added, that according to the law it is an offence for vehicles to be parked in such a way that it may cause danger to other road users. However, it is unclear as to why the Police in Berbice have not been more stringent in dealing with this offence.