114 fatal accidents for 2008
…significant decline from last year
By Nadia Guyadeen
Statistics show that there has been a decrease in fatal accidents in 2008 when compared to the previous years, including last year.
However, there have been several tragic deaths in 2008 that linger in the minds of many, particularly those who have lost loved ones. And some of them, nine in all, occurred over the last seven days.
The Police Traffic Department has recorded 114 deaths for 2008, resulting from 99 accidents. Of the deceased, seven were children.
For 2007, there were 169 accidents and 207 deaths, among them 30 children; while for 2006, there were 140 accidents and 164 deaths, of which 24 victims were children.
A September release from the Police Traffic Department stated that enforcement efforts by ranks, and Traffic Education activities, have resulted in a decrease in accidents.
According to the release, speeding is the leading cause of road fatalities. The press release stated that, of the 66 fatal accidents up to that point, 51were due to speeding, eight resulted from driving under the influence of alcohol, and seven were because of the failure of motorists to conform to traffic signs.
It added that most of the victims were pedestrians. Meanwhile, the Police Traffic Department’s zero tolerance traffic enforcement “Operation Safeway” continues countrywide.
According to statistics provided, up to September 14, a total of 51,226 cases have been made against defaulting motorists.
The more prevalent offence is speeding, with some 14,012 cases being made out against persons for that offence; overloaded minibuses — 4,221; unlicensed drivers – 1,648, failure to wear seatbelts – 1,344; failure to wear safety helmets – 1,629; breaches of insurance – 832; breaches of traffic light signals – 854; breaches of road service licence – 946; obstructions – 5,221; and stoppings within 30 feet of a corner – 6,183.
The most recent accident for 2008 came just yesterday with the death of Cuban Doctor Ricardo Beaza Corrizon, who lost control of his vehicle and ran it into a trench.
Also, on October 18, the media fraternity was in mourning after a fatal accident at Linden claimed the life of one of their colleagues.
National Communications Network (NCN) journalist Akila Jacobs, 23, was returning from a media trip to Linden when the bus she was travelling in slammed into the back of a truck.
Bus driver Terrence Tappin was killed instantly, while Akila Jacobs succumbed as she was being transported to Georgetown.
In July, a day at the creek ended in tragedy following a two-vehicle collision which snuffed out the lives of five persons, including two brothers, all from the East Coast Demerara village of Plaisance.
Jason and Julian Martin, Colin Ferguson, Ezra Ferguson and Royston Dempster were all killed.
The young men had just left a creek on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway. The driver of the car was Jason Martin.
At about 21:00 hours, while heading north along the East Bank Demerara Public Road, in the vicinity of Land of Canaan, the car that they were travelling in, PLL 328, collided with a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).
Also that month, an unlicensed driver slammed a Canter truck into a parked, sand-laden vehicle near Coverden, East Bank Demerara, killing his 11-year-old niece and injuring her seven-year-old brother.
Inaleema Jhaman, of Lot 19 Soesdyke Public Road, was sitting in the cab of the Canter truck when her uncle lost control of the vehicle and careened into the sand truck, at around 09:00hours. She was killed instantly.
In August, two young men were burnt to death in a horrific car crash at Little Diamond, East Bank Demerara.
Dead are owner of Luxury Cuts Barber Shop Sachin Singh, 22, and Wajeed Shaw, also 22.
Kaieteur News understands that the mishap occurred shortly after the two youths had left a lavish wedding reception on the East Bank of Demerara.
In December, a University of Guyana student, a pensioner and a former footballer were killed in separate road accidents which occurred between Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Twenty-six-year-old UG student Kellon Griffith, of Atlanticville, East Coast Demerara, died when a Christmas Day outing with two friends ended tragically, at around 04:00 hours, when the vehicle in which they were travelling overturned on the Rupert Craig Highway in the vicinity of the Celina Resort.
And at around 01:00 hr on Christmas Day, popular drinks vendor and former footballer Selwyn Bailey, 45, was killed on the spot when a route 41 minibus slammed into his drinks stall at Joseph Pollydore and Chapel Streets, Lodge.
And on Christmas Eve Day, 68-year-old Watson Joseph, who was on a pedal cycle at the time, perished after he was struck by a motor car on the Number Five Village Main Road, at about 18:35 hours.