An accident on the Number 59 Village Public Road, Corentyne, Berbice, on Sunday has left a mother, her two sons, her secretary and a friend dead.
Dead are Sabita Manglani, 42; Emmanuel Manglani, 18; Ethan Ramjit, 5; Reshma Seeram and Dhanpaul Kishandayal, called Navin.
The mid-afternoon accident also left lorry driver Budram Singh, also called “Budo”, 30, of Number 49 Village, Berbice, seriously injured.
Reports are that Kishandayal was driving motor car PPP 3394 in an eastern direction while the lorry bearing registration number GZ 2763 was heading in the opposite direction. Reports are Kishandayal dropped into a pothole, lost control of the car and slammed into the lorry.
Eyewitnesses told this publication there were two carts parked on the road’s shoulder adjacent to the pothole.
The impact of the collision pushed half of the lorry off the road and sent the paddy-laden tray pitching off into the back of the Honda wagon removing the top half in the process. Manglani and her 18-year-old son, who were in the back seat, were tossed over the lorry as a result, with the woman landing on the parapet and the teen in the trench – both dead.
The body of the five-year-old, who was also in the back seat, was severed at the waist, with the top half also flying over the lorry and landing in the trench running parallel to the road. The bottom half remained in the car.
Kishandayal and Seeram were pinned in the front seat and remained there until members of the Skeldon Fire Service arrived on the scene and cut open the vehicle to remove the bodies. In the meantime, undertakers had taken the other persons to the Skeldon Hospital, where they were confirmed as deceased.
The lorry driver was said to be bleeding profusely when he was taken away from the scene. “The windscreen broke and slice up his face and body bad,” one man said.
Police who arrived shortly after were able to secure the valuables of the deceased which included five cellular phones, a quantity of jewellery, $100,000 in local currency, and US$1200.
This publication was told that Kishandayal returned from New York three weeks ago for a vacation.
Meanwhile, at the Bel Air, Georgetown, home of Manglani, her sister-in-law was too distraught to speak.
However, an aunt of the now-dead woman who gave her name as Janet said that the accident victims all left home around 07:30h on Sunday to visit Berbice.
Sabita’s husband and the father of her eldest son reportedly died of a heart attack some two years ago, while her father was killed in a Regent Street accident three years ago.
Meanwhile, residents in the area where the accident occurred said the parking of heavy-duty vehicles along the shoulders of the Corentyne Highway was of great concern and they have always complained about this issue. “The driver had nowhere to turn, because the two grain carts were parked on the roadside. And as soon as the accident, the owner come and move them and put them in the street,” one villager said.
On Friday last, there was another accident in the same area which residents said was caused as a result of the same hole.
That accident left several persons hospitalised.
Regional Vice Chairman Dennis DeRoop told this publication that he raised the issue with the Public Infrastructure Ministry on several occasions, but to no avail. (Andrew Carmichael)