1 year later: Mother cries for justice for son killed in hit-and-run

Dead: Travis Wickham

By: Shane Marks

More than one year ago, 29-year-old Travis Wickham was killed in a hit-and-run accident at Foulis, East Coast Demerara (ECD), and today, the grieving family is yet to receive justice.

On January 29, 2021, Wickham was riding a motorcycle along the Enmore Public Road, ECD when he was struck down by a speeding car, which then fled the scene. To date, more than one year later, Police are yet to find the motorcar that was involved in the accident, much less the driver.

The victim’s mother, an emotional Shaundelle Wickham – who resides in Suriname – told this publication in an exclusive interview that it will soon be a year since she last received an update on the case from the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

According to the grieving mother, she last heard from a Police commander, who told her the case would be handed over to the High Court following an inquest by the GPF. This last bit of information was given to the woman in August of 2021.

“The last person I go and see, the Commander, told me that the paper gone back for inquest, and it will be out and the story will throw out over to the High Court. So, from August to now, I have not heard anything. We have not heard anything about my son’s case. It’s very hard, it’s very rough on me. Because not a day goes by that I [don’t] think about my son,” the mother said heartbrokenly.

Shaundelle explained that she had been to the police station three times over the past year, travelling back and forth from Suriname to Guyana to get information on the matter. Thus far, she hasn’t received from the Police a solid update that would indicate that progress is being made.

“Since then, I have heard nothing much about my son’s death. I have been to the Police station three times. The first time I go, they said that the paper was gone for the inquest, they said when it come back they will inform the family. Then I left, I come over back to Suriname, and I go over back to Guyana in August, and I go back there. I have not heard anything, so I go back and I asked them about the letter, if it came back. They said yes, it came back, but it has to go back for inquest back, for two times,” Shaundelle explained.

She explained that of the five children she has made, Travis was her only son. She said that although the young man had grown into adulthood, he had never spoken ill to her or of her, he had always respected and cared for her, something she always cherished – and will continue to cherish – about him. She added that Travis had kept to himself as a child, avoiding fights throughout his childhood.

“He was my, sad to say, he was my best child. My best. He never answered me back, even though I rowed with him, he never answered me back. He never deh in no problem. He never fight from nursery to secondary, he went to TI. Anybody in the village, in the area, who know he, could testify about that. He was a church boy,” she said fondly of her son.

Further, she related that her son had taken care of her younger child while she stayed in Suriname for work. The heartbroken mother has said her son’s kindest to her had outmatched the kindness of any other person.

“I am not in the country, and he is the one who used to look after my last daughter, because I am not there,” she said.

Travis was well-known in his community, having been recognized and respected for his welding work. The man, at 29, was ambitious about his future and what he wanted to achieve. He was a business owner.

“My son was a person with ambition. He had his own business. He used to do welding. He used to work with the Government, and anybody use to call him to do work on houses and so forth. He [was] always there, so anybody around the neighbourhood they know [that] my son was a good person,” Shaundelle related.

The mother expressed her disappointment in the woman accused of killing her son, saying that she cannot comprehend how a human being didn’t render assistance to someone they had harmed. She said, “I cannot understand how somebody can hit somebody and they did not stop to see if they could render their assistance, and they just drive away.”

At this stage of the woman’s life, she highlighted that she only wants justice for her son, and would like the GPF to do their job efficiently to ensure that justice isn’t unnecessarily prolonged.

“I need justice for my son. He was my first child and my only son too. I would like the Guyana Police Force, they should do their work properly because in a case like a hit-and-run…when it have an accident and somebody die…and the person drive away, that’s for sure that the person was wrong, because if the person wasn’t wrong, they would’ve stopped to know…” Shaundelle cried.

The 29-year-old welder, who had left his Lot 291 Bachelor’s Adventure, ECD home at about 08:00h on January 19, 2021 to visit his girlfriend, was struck down and killed almost instantly by a motor car which allegedly belonged to an ex-female cop, which sped away from the scene.

Reports are that Wickham was riding his motorcycle in the vicinity of the Foulis Gas Station at Enmore, ECD, heading into Nabaclis. ECD when the car attempted to overtake a bus. In the process, the motorcyclist was struck from his motorcycle, which caused him to be flung at a moving minibus. As a result, he fell onto the roadway, where he sustained injuries about his body and died.