The driver who fatally struck seven-year-old Sunil Sukhnandan and left his sister critically injured last Thursday evening at Ogle Public Road, East Coast Demerara, was yesterday released on $75,000 station bail pending further investigations of the accident.
Traffic Chief, Linden Isles, confirmed to Sunday Stabroek that the female driver was released on station bail yesterday morning.
Isles said while the police investigation continues, efforts are being made to settle the matter privately. However, he noted that once the case file is completed, the police will send it to the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice, which will determine the way forward in the matter.
The accident occurred around 6.30pm on Thursday, when the children, who were on a bicycle, were hit by the driver, who was said to be speeding.
Sunil was subsequently pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital, while his sister, Venisha Sukhnandan, remains hospitalised in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She is on life support and is said to still be in a critical condition.
Venisha, who had been towing her brother, suffered severe damage to her head and her neck, and also sustained several broken bones.
Sohan Sukhnandan, the father of the children, yesterday told Sunday Stabroek that the driver has since offered the family $1 million as compensation.
However, another relative, Kampta Persaud, related to Sunday Stabroek that the family is in dire need of assistance and he feels that it is being taken advantage of in the circumstances.
Persaud, who said he travelled to Guyana to assist the family, explained that yesterday morning he was informed that the children’s parents were summoned to the police station on Friday. He said when he enquired what took place, he learnt that the parents, who are not literate, were allegedly forced to sign a document in the presence of the driver’s daughter and a man suspected to be either a lawyer or a Justice of Peace. He said he learnt that the document is an agreement for the $1 million compensation. As a result, Persaud said he was upset that the parents were made to sign the document without any independent counsel to guide them.
Eyewitnesses have alleged that the car was speeding along the road when the accident occurred. “Just one look at that car and you gon know she was speeding. The whole bonnet bruk up and the windscreen destroy. It look like she hit a cow and it was two children on a bicycle. We went on the road at the time and we didn’t see the accident but we hear the loud noise and I turn round and think to me self that somebody had to dead with that accident,” one person at the scene related.
The family of nine, inclusive of Sukhnandan and his wife, Radica Narine, live in a small shack at Ogle North. Small shacks dot the area, which has become home for fishermen who ply their trade in the area. The southern-most one houses the family.
Sukhnandan, 44, and his wife live with their seven children, who range in age from 7 to 18 years. The man explained that they have been squatting for “a little over three years” and moved to the area after he encountered some problems with one of his relatives, with whom they had been staying.
The family is appealing to the public for assistance. Anyone willing to help the family can contact them on 672-6196 and 604 4046.