Family says death of young mechanic in high-speed police chase was avoidable

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Dead: Mahendra Deopaul

By: Amar Persaud 

Family members of 20-year-old Mahendra Deopaul who died following an accident during a high-speed chase with police believe the young man’s death was avoidable had the officers dealt with the situation in a different manner.

Deopaul, a mechanic of Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara (WBD), died after the motorcycle he was riding dropped into a pothole during a high-speed chase with the police on Sunday evening.

A police press release stated that the the motorcycle was proceeding along the roadway without wearing a safety helmet when a Guyana Police Force (GPF) motor pickup attempted to stop him.

Police said the motorcyclist, upon seeing the police vehicle, drove away at a fast rate of speed, causing the ranks to respond by giving chase. According to the police, the motorcyclist ended up driving into potholes along the road where he lost control of the bike and fell onto the road surface where he received injuries about his body.

The young man was taken to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries while receiving medical care.

The young man’s sister, Davina Mohamed, told INews that her brother would have been alive today had the police approached the situation differently. In fact, she expressed some amount of disbelief regarding the report provided by the police.

“I am hurting, I’m trying to figure out because the police are not reaching out to us…we calling the phones so many times and nobody answered and say anything,” Mohamed stated.

“They are not saying anything, they are not giving us any confirmation, they’re not giving us any closure, they are not saying anything,” the woman added.

She explained that upon examining her brother’s motorcycle, it had severe damages to the rear which caused the family to believe he was struck from behind by the police van which was chasing him.

“You gonna high speed chase a motorcycle on the grounds that he had on no helmet? There was no suspicious behaviour, there was no alcohol, you didn’t trace him from somewhere, seeing that he is drinking, or didn’t get a tip or call that this bike just robbed somebody, or this bike was stolen. So what’s the reason for the high-speed chase? Because he didn’t have a helmet? It could have been avoided,” Mohamed stated.

The woman further related that when the family received news of the accident, they rushed to the police station where the ranks informed that the young man was taken to the hospital because he received “bruises”.

Another family member who went to the hospital to check on the young man’s condition reported that his injuries were more than just “bruises” and that Deopaul was in fact, in a critical condition.

“When we go to the hospital, I went straight in and asked them what going on, and they said that my brother is critical; he’s bleeding in eyes, his brain cells are shutting down, and a whole lot of things,” Mohamed related.

The woman stated that the doctors pronounced her brother dead at around 03:00hrs on Monday morning – which would have been less than four hours after the accident reportedly occurred.

The woman further told this publication that her brother’s friend had witnessed the accident but he is too traumatised to speak. According to the woman, the friend was also riding his motorcycle at the time of the fatal crash.

Deopaul was laid to rest today. Police investigations are ongoing.