A Police Officer is under close arrest following an accident on Old Year’s night which resulted in the death of a Corentyne labourer and farmer.
Dead is 37-year-old Naveneranauth Ragnandan, also called “RZ”, of Bush Lot Village, Corentyne. According to reports, the man died moments after being struck down.
Reports are that the car, which was being driven by the Policeman attached to the Number 51 Police Station, was allegedly travelling east on the Corentyne Highway at a fast rate. Ragnandan, who had just ended a conversation with another farmer, Hemraj Latchman, was walking away when he was hit.
According to Latchman, he and Ragnandan had just completed a discussion about his rice field, and shortly after he heard the impact.
“When I spin around, I see “RZ” in the air…,” Latchman related, adding that the car stopped some 200 meters away.
This publication was told that the man landed about 30 feet from where he was hit. “The man was speeding an he didn’t want the brakes impression to show how speed he was going, so he slow down till he stop; he stop till by that shop up the road,” Latchman said.
Police Divisional Commander, Assistant Commissioner Ian Amsterdam said a breathalyser test was administered and the officer was found not to be above the legal limit of alcohol consumption.
The Commander added that the Police have obtained a statement from an eyewitness and would be preparing a file to send to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the matter.
Meanwhile, Ragnandan’s widow, Diawattie Bissember, also called “Kim”, was quoted in a report by the Guyana Times saying she was at home when she heard the impact, but had no idea that her husband was involved. “Me sister-in-law dem run out and when me go fo run out them tell me na go, so me stay.”
She then was informed of the tragic news, which she shared with relatives living nearby. “They go an see he but dem na carry me… When Ah see mi husband he did lie down on a stretcher at Port Mourant Hospital, and then dem take he and carry him to the funeral parlour,” the grieving widow explained.
Bissember explained that on Monday she visited the Whim Police Station and was shown the suspect. The woman related that officers there told her that they were unable to gather statements from anyone who witnessed the accident.
However, Assistant Commissioner Amsterdam refuted that claim, saying that the Police were in receipt of a statement from an eyewitness. He assured that the Police were treating the matter as they would matters where civilians were the suspects.
Bissember said her husband was an all-rounder who worked in the rice field, painted, and also worked as a carpenter. “He na get one regular job, anyway he can go an get a job,” she explained.
Recounting the couple’s last moments together, Bissember said during the day (Old Year’s Day) her husband assisted with the cooking. “About 2’o clock time, he tell me say that he gon go and shy paddy and he go out an I ain’t seen him back.”
She said they had planned to spend the last hours of the year together. “Ah tell he that I gon buy some beer and when he come back me an he gon sit down and drink it home, but I ain’t see he back…,” she said in the popular ‘local’ dialect.
Bissember is pleading with the Police for assistance. “Mi fus husband dead an mi second daughter drink poison and she dead, so me don’t have no savings fo do any burying.”
The couple shared two children, aged 16 and nine.
The Police Divisional Commander, who was out of the jurisdiction for the New Year’s weekend, explained that the family was not visited because most of the senior officers would have gone home for the weekend. He has promised to visit the family.
Ragnandan leaves to mourn his children, wife and four siblings. A post-mortem is expected to be performed on his body today.