The parents of 22-year-old Carlito Gobin – the youngest of the three men who were killed last evening in the tragic accident at De Willem, West Coast Demerara (WCD) – are struggling to come to grips with the manner in which their child lost his life.
Gobin, who would have celebrated his 23rd birthday this Thursday, died on the spot after he was struck down by a speeding motorcar driven by an 18-year-old.
The teen driver was reportedly racing with another motorcar when he lost control of his vehicle and slammed into three bystanders outside of the Sharmilla Harikissoon Sports Bar.
Gobin, who worked at the bar for the past four years, had gone outside to purchase and eat a hotdog when the incident occurred.
Upon receiving news of the accident, the young man’s mother, Hamimoonnall Gobin, rushed to the scene where the teen driver began apologising for the chaos he had caused.
“He tell me ‘sorry’. Wah sorry can do? Sorry can’t do nothing. Sorry can’t bring back me son,” the grieving mother argued. The woman contended that the teen driver and his family will have to pay for the suffering they have caused.
“We need justice for my son,” the mother cried.
Imran Ali, the young man’s father, was at work at Republic Park, East Bank Demerara (EBD) when he received news of the accident. He worked as a security guard.
“I was working and I started crying. I run out from till at the back of Republic Park till to the [Demerara Harbour] Bridge just fuh get a vehicle to meet home. When I meet, I couldn’t see he, they did done gone with he…I only saw a photo with the brains on the ground… that’s one thing that can’t come out me head, that photo with he on the ground,” the father cried.
“He head split into two, foot broken, hand broken, ribs broken, he dead on the spot,” the father bemoaned.
“I heard they were sitting down eating a hotdog when this car come and hit him in the air and he fall till by the pharmacy…he pelt the furthest…I need justice for my son… he was sitting down when he get hit down budday, he was sitting down eating. He ain’t even get fuh eat he hotdog and he get hit down and dead,” the father cried.
Gobin was one of seven children. The family, who currently resides at De Willem, lived in Venezuela for some time and had returned to Guyana in 2012.
The father recalled that his son was a miracle baby. “He was a seven-month born child…he was deaf and dumb…and we bring he in 2012 in Guyana to look after he ears, then he start talk lil bit and he talking funny, not any and everybody understand he…he was a quiet and an easy, easy banna. He don’t mix and mingle fuh mek problem,” the father explained.
The parents pleaded with road users, especially drivers, to be more cautious on the roadways. “I’m begging them to take their time on the road…is three persons kill one time, nah one, is three,” the father posited.
Meanwhile, the young man’s mother is also a hot dog vendor within the vicinity of sports bar where the accident occurred. The woman said it will be difficult to continue plying her trade in that area.
The other two persons killed in the accident are 46-year-old Kiran Rampersaud, a fisherman of Zeeburg, WCD; and 44-year-old Ayube Mohamed, also a fisherman, Meten-Meer-Zorg, WCD.
Reports are that the 18-year-old driver 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.”