Danion Welcome, the driver of the truck involved in the horrific accident at Agricola Public Road, Greater Georgetown, that claimed the life of seven-year-old Ciara Benjamin back in June, was on Wednesday charged at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
The 39-year-old man appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and pleaded not guilty to the charge which detailed that on June 1, 2019, at Agricola Public Road, Georgetown, he drove motor lorry GWW 962 in a manner dangerous to the public causing the death of Ciara Benjamin.
During the court hearing, the defendant was represented by Attorney-at-Law James Bond, who asked for his client to be released on reasonable and if bail is granted he will ensure that Welcome adheres to the conditions attached.
In addition, the lawyer informed the court that his client is unable to work since the ordeal, due to the injuries he received by the hands of residents of the Agricola community, who beat him mercilessly.
Bond went on to tell the court that his client has to seek medical attention abroad for his injuries, after being advised by a local doctor.
Facts presented by Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield stated that on the day in question, at around 16:10 hrs, Welcome, who was driving motor lorry, which was proceeding at a fast rate of speed on the Agricola Public Road.
It was then that Welcome lost control of his vehicle and collided with the child who was standing at the median, which resulted with the child’s death and her legs being severed.
The matter was reported, however after a lengthy investigation, a file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) who advised that Welcome be charged over the child’s death.
The court further heard that the DPP advice that the driver’s license should be suspended.
The Chief Magistrate, after listening to the facts, released Welcome on $500,000 bail, but conditions was attached.
Welcome was instructed to lodge his passport with the court and report every Friday to the officer in charge at the Ruimveldt Police Station, until the hearing and determination of the trial.
The magistrate futher suspected his driver’s license until the hearing and determination of the matter.
Nevertheless, Welcome is slated to make his next court appearance on September, 23.
Based on reports received, the child was attempting to cross the road with her aunt, Samantha Barry, at about 16:45h in the vicinity of the Independence Arch at Agricola.
During that time, a truck bearing registration number GWW 962 was heading to Georgetown when he allegedly swerved to avoid hitting a vehicle and ended up in the path of the pedestrians.
Upon impact, the woman was flung some distance away while the truck remained fixed on the median with the child pinned underneath. A light pole was unearthed from the impact and collapsed on the roadway.
Hundreds of people flocked the roadway and streets to witness the aftermath of the tragic incident. With the truck lodged in the middle of the roadway, Police officers made efforts to clear the streets to allow for the body to be removed.
About one hour later, a forklift and crane were used to lift the vehicle and remove the child’s remains. Her body was completely severed in two.