Two persons were killed, one was injured and another escaped unhurt after the car they were in was involved in an accident yesterday afternoon along the Zealand Public Road, Mahaicony.
Dead are Michael Aubrey Ross, a hire car driver, and Jennifer Nikita Park, 17, of Lot 25 Manchester Village, Corentyne, Berbice.
The person injured is Jennifer’s sister, 23-year-old Judy Nikita Park, a nurse attached to the Port Mourant Hospital. Kevin Madray, who reportedly resides in Suriname, escaped unhurt.
The accident occurred around 12.30 pm yesterday after which Ross and the Park sisters were pulled from the submerged car, PMM 1423, driven by Ross, and rushed to the Mahaicony Hospital where Jennifer and Ross was pronounced dead on arrival.
Judy was treated for minor injuries to her feet, hands and neck and remained under observation up to late yesterday afternoon while Madray who escaped with only a gash to his hand left the scene in a hurry after reportedly relating to witnesses that he was returning to Suriname.
Police spokesman Jairam Ramlakhan, in a press statement, yesterday afternoon said that enquiries disclosed that the motor car was proceeding east along the northern carriageway of the road when Ross attempted to overtake a low-bed lorry which was transporting heavy-duty machinery.
During the process, he said, Ross was forced to pull to the north since another vehicle was quickly approaching from the opposite direction.
This resulted in the car colliding with the right side of the lorry and flipping several times before ended up in a nearby trench.
At the time of the accident, Judy was seated in the front passenger seat while Madray and Jennifer were in the back seat with Jennifer directly behind Ross.
The trench into which the car plunged separates two villages: Zealand and De Kinderen.
At the scene, a number of persons who were traversing the road stopped to get a glimpse of what was transpiring. A few assisted villagers to rescue the victims from the submerged car.
“This thing happen so easy like picture story”, Kheman Racktoo, an eyewitness related to Stabroek News.
He said he was sitting at a table in his yard when he heard the loud impact followed by thick smoke coming from the car which had already plunged into the trench.
“…And a combine was passing at the time and this car (PMM 1423) overtake the combine and from wah I observe a vehicle went coming opposite so when he (Ross) overtake the combine, he pull and dah is weh he lost control”, Racktoo stated.
Racktoo said, “I actually see when the car go over and so forth. The four wheel went at the top. Them boys come and seh ‘jump in, jump in’ and everybody try fah pull out the car and save them……soon as the accident happen about four ah them boy run and jump in the trench, then them slack the door and a girl (Judy) come out; one ah the sister that went ah front but after dah by time fuh get out the driver….by time yuh slack the other one (door) the car did like completely gone down”, he further related.
Meanwhile at the hospital, Ules Park, an aunt of the Park sisters was in a state of shock.
She told this newspaper that she was at work when she received a call from Judy informing her of the accident. “….She (Judy) tell me that they wasn’t finding Jennifer in the water and that the driver died”, Ules said.
A few minutes later, she said she received another call and learnt that a second person had died. She later learnt that the second victim was Jennifer.
‘I pray to God to save we’
“I would just like to thank God for life but I am just hurt about my sister (Jennifer), my only sister, the two of us alone. We were so closely attached”, Judy cried.
The visibly traumatized Judy related to Stabroek News that she and Jennifer had hired the car to taken them to the Cyril Potter College of Education at Turkeyen.
She said at the time of the accident, they were returning home after she had accompanied Jennifer to the orientation yesterday after she was accepted into the institution.
“Today (yesterday) they told her (Jennifer) to go back for orientation, so I accompanied her”, Judy said while adding, “we went there, we spoke to the staff and while coming back at first the vehicle was driving at a normal rate. We (she and Jennifer) were eating, we were having a conversation and suddenly while coming back the vehicle slammed into a low bed that was transporting a combine”.
As a result, of the impact, Judy said the car turned over several times before landing in the trench. “The car was rolling. It send the car toppling and the vehicle just keep toppling all the way to the trench and it keep toppling, toppling and I was just battling for my life, battling for my life. I praying to God to just save we”, she cried.
According to Judy, she and her sister along with Ross and Madray were all trapped in the car after it toppled.
She said she cannot relate how she managed to get out of the car while noting that at one point in time she was semi- conscious. “So I don’t know how I eventually find myself out of the vehicle but eventually I find myself out”, she said.
She said that when she came out of the car, she saw a few men trying to assist them. “To be honest …..after the car toppled I don’t know. Everything just, I feel like everybody just went down into the water. That’s how I feel”, she said.
She said she didn’t notice her injuries until a while after she came out of the car. “At the time I think my blood was hot so I probably didn’t noticed my injuries but afterwards I start feeling pain in my hand and in my leg mostly”, Judy added.
`I tried to save my sister life’
Judy, a trained nurse said that while she feels good to be alive, she is devastated that Jennifer did not survive although she tried to save her life. “I feel good to be alive but I am traumatized and hurt. Really hurt….I tried to save my sister life”, she cried.
Judy said that she does not believe her sister sustained massive injuries in the accident but was trapped in the car and drowned before she could have been rescued.
She said after Jennifer’s body was taken out of the car and placed in a vehicle to be transported to the hospital, she tried CPR several times since she had a pulse but she still didn’t survive.
“After they took her (Jennifer) out of the car, a crowd was there, I told them I want to see my sister. I went to her, I tried CPR on her. I managed to get out some fluid and she had a pulse and …after I tried CPR I asked for assistance because I was traumatized and I didn’t had the full energy and residents came, they assist me to get her to the vehicle and while on the way coming (to the hospital) I still try CPR on her. Yes, I keep trying to save her life but she died”, Judy further recounted.
“….And when I came out, I was just screaming for my sister. I was just screaming ‘somebody please help my sister’…..I was just screaming for her all the time”, Judy related.
She said she believes that if she was wearing a seat belt at the time, she would have died.