De Willem accident: Speeding driver identified as 18-Y-O; victims identified

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The scene of the tragic accident at De Willem, WCD

The three bystanders who died in a tragic accident last evening along the De Willem, West Coast Demerara (WCD) Public Road have been identified.

They are 23-year-old Carlito Gobin; 46-year-old Kiran Rampersaud; and 44-year-old Ayube Mohamed – all residents of the WCD.

Dead: Carlito Gobin

The trio, who were standing outside of the Sharmilla Harikissoon Sports bar, were struck down and killed by motorcar PVV 1051 which was being recklessly driven by an 18-year-old.

Dead: 46-year-old Kiran Rampersaud

Reports are that the teenager and another vehicle were racing along the public road when the young man lost control of the motorcar, crashed into a vehicle that was parked outside of the bar and then slammed into the bystanders.

Two other persons were struck down during the incident and they are currently being treated for their injuries.

The teen driver also received injuries about his body and is currently receiving medical attention under police guard.

Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn has since expressed concerns over the continued reckless usage of the country’s roadways, particularly by ‘young male’ drivers.

According to the Home Affairs Minister, the country had a “successful year” in 2021 as it relates to road fatalities, with a 29% reduction.

But based on the statistics so far this year, Minister Benn said “we appear to have already be in trouble at the rate we’re going”.

Only a few days ago, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill issued a statement expressing concerns at the alarming rate of road fatalities for the year.

For the year 2021, 99 persons were killed when compared with 139 persons for 2020. The 2021 results showed a 29% reduction when compared to 2020.

The “vulnerable class” of road users (pedal cyclist, motor cyclist and pedestrian) accounted for 67.7% of the total deaths in 2021 while in 2020, they accounted for 79.9% of the total deaths.

Minister Edghill had disclosed that from the data retrieved from the Guyana Police Force (GPF), it was found that pedal and motor cyclist combined accounted for 37.4% of the deaths in 2021 and 56.1% in 2020.

Comparative data has shown that as of March 3, 2022, 15 persons were killed on the roadways, as a result of 14 accidents, when compared with the same period for 2021, when 20 persons died from 19 accidents.

“What is significantly alarming, is that in 2021, 14 of the 20 persons killed at that period were the most vulnerable classes of road users (two pedal cyclists, eight motor cyclists and four pedestrians). While at March 3, 2022 of the 15 killed, the vulnerable classes accounted for seven (two pedal cyclists, three motor cyclists, two pedestrians),” Minister Edghill had noted.

The government official noted too that he and his Cabinet colleagues will relook at the current laws and examine ways in which they can ensure “stricter controls, be it the training/re-training of drivers/ riders, higher fines or stiffer penalties and a studied approach for the introduction of a demerit system.”