Four dead in Nismes smash-up
…Six critical as car and minibus collide
By Alva Solomon and Tamica Garnett
AT least four persons are confirmed dead following a smash-up on the public road at Nismes, West Bank Demerara last evening.
Reports are that a minibus crashed into a Toyota Premio motorcar bearing registration PTT
691 along the roadway around 1900hrs as the latter exited a gas station. Persons on the scene reported that the Route 31 minibus was heading to the city when the car exited the D&L Gas Station at Nismes and ended-up in its path.
Among those confirmed dead are: 29-year-old Ayesha Sealey of Patentia Housing Scheme, a 12-year-old girl, whose name was provided as Maria Bisnauth and the driver of the car, who was identified as Rawle Williams, a 52-year-old father of four.
Bisnauth died while undergoing medical attention. The identity of the fourth fatality is being ascertained. Several persons, including the driver of the minibus, whose name was given as Hensley Alleyne and passenger Mark Anthony, age 24, were hospitalised in critical conditions. They were among several persons who were transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation from the West Demerara Regional Hospital where the injured were taken to following the accident.
Anthony’s relatives told the Guyana Chronicle that the young man was on the way to work when the accident occurred. He works at the Pritipaul Singh Investment firm on the East Bank of Demerara. The man’s family said that he sustained mainly head injuries and they were hopeful that he would survive.
The accident sent shockwaves throughout the country as the nation has witnessed a number of road fatalities within the past week.
Last Sunday morning, Republic Bank employee, David Headley, crashed into a bridge rail at Felicity, East Coast Demerara. He died while getting medical attention. Early Monday morning, off-duty police officer Carl Roach died after he collided with a car as he rode along the roadway near Brickdam and Lime Street.
On Tuesday, 55-year-old Raymond Cassal died after he was struck down by a pick-up at Coffee Grove on the Essequibo Coast.
On Wednesday night, the owner of Kosmos Bar and Grill, Dillon Dos Ramos along with Senior Superintendent of the Guyana Police Force, Brian Eastman, died after the vehicle the two were travelling in crashed into a fence at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.
Then on Thursday afternoon, a school child, Nifram Nezamodeen, died after a speeding motorcar slammed into a crowd at Bush Lot Village on the Corentyne. His sister and his mother also sustained injuries following the accident.
On Friday afternoon, rice farmer Bissoonauth Ramnarine called ‘Lora’ died after he crashed into a vehicle and fell into the opposing lane of traffic at Devonshire Castle, Essequibo Coast.
Earlier Saturday morning, another Republic Bank employee, Riley Charles Newton, of Ruimzeight, West Coast Demerara (WCD) died after crashing his car at Leonora, WCD.
During the past week, there were several other non-fatal accidents along the country’s roadways. On Friday morning, Nurse Darcia Bisson was struck down as she crossed the roadway at Queenstown on the Essequibo Coast. She remains in a critical condition. November has been designated as Road Safety Month.
PUBLIC Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan said while the Police Traffic Department is more actively involved in public awareness campaigns, there is need for better individual responsibility. “If there are qualified persons – having passed the driving exam – driving irresponsibly causing deaths and damage to our public infrastructure as well as private property… it shows that the fault lies with individual driving, in my opinion.”
Minister Ramjattan noted that of the over 91 fatal accidents for this year, 77 resulted from excessive speed or driving under the influence. Once these are addressed, he opined, road fatalities can be reduced by half. He called on motorists, in particular, to pause and take a look at “what is happening to our society”.
Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson pointed to the fact that with the improved roadways constructed by the Coalition Government, “persons can commute quicker and at a safer rate to ease traffic congestion. However, some drivers have been taking advantage of this and that is a concern,” he said.
The public infrastructure minister opined that early education is needed and maybe relicensing, and pledged to implement more safety structures such as overpasses at critical junctions on the East Coast Demerara.
“I will continue to make all the necessary interventions, however, nothing could be effective as persons taking responsibility for the rate of speed at which they drive,” he remarked.
The use of speed bumps has proven effective in reducing accidents and unnecessary speeding at critical junctions according to Minister Patterson. This view was supported by Snr. Superintendent Isles, who called on the operators of heavy-duty commercial vehicles to remember that their uses is restricted to hours of 7am to 9am on weekdays and any breaches will be dealt with.