Boys killed after Tundra slams into utility pole
– six others injured
Two young boys were killed and six others injured at around 10:00 hrs yesterday when a speeding Toyota Tundra they were travelling in turned on its side after slamming into a utility pole at Airy Hall, Mahaicony.
Confirmed dead are Colin Anthony Williams 15, called Khalid or Omar of Sandy Babb Street, Kitty and Raheem Xavier 12, of Calendar Street Albouystown.
Xavier would have celebrated his thirteenth birthday on October 10.
This newspaper understands that the vehicle, GKK 3893, which is registered to Asif Hack of Georgetown, ran off the road at a dangerous turn and slammed into a post before ending up in a nearby ditch.
Eyewitnesses said that the dead boys and the other injured persons were seated in the tray of the vehicle. It is believed that they were hurled from the Tundra on impact.
Xavier, who suffered massive head injuries, died at the spot, while Williams died while receiving treatment at the Mahaicony Hospital.
A release from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation stated that six persons were referred there from the Mahaicony Hospital following the accident.
The main medical institution said that most of the injured suffered from trauma to the back and neck.
Among them are Fazil Ali, 11, of Lusignan Grass Field, East Coast Demerara; Sameer Shamsuddin 10, of Cane Grove, East Coast Demerara; Mohamed Shamsuddin 40, Asif Hack 34 and Zahir Yassin.
Hospital sources yesterday stated that ten-year-old Sameer Shamsuddin was in a critical condition. He received injuries to the head and chest and was in an unconscious state.
He was taken to a private hospital to undergo a CT scan.
The police in a press statement yesterday said that the vehicle was being driven by Asif Hakh, 33, of Turkeyen, ECD.
He allegedly lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a turn and crashed into a utility pole.
The two dead persons and the other injured were all sitting in the tray of the vehicle when the accident occurred.
Popular television and radio personality Raymond Azeez, marketing manager of the national communications network, survived the accident.
Azeez, who was sitting in the front passenger seat was virtually unhurt and assisted the injured to get to medical attention.
At the Mahaicony Hospital, he tearfully recalled watching the bodies of the dead and badly injured sprawled on the parapet after the vehicle came to a halt in a muddy ditch.
Azeez told this newspaper that they were all heading to a function at Shieldstown, Blairmont on the West Bank Berbice.
“The guy who was driving wasn’t really speeding but he miss average the turn. The guys that died and the injured were in the tray, so they were pitched out of the tray,” Azeez said.
He said when he emerged from the vehicle, he tried to render assistance to those who were flung on to the parapet when some public spirited persons were helping those, who were still in the vehicle, to get out.
“There were those on the ground and we tried to do something quickly, if they were going, so that they go back to Allah peacefully,” Azeez said, fighting to hold back tears.
“When we looked at little Raheem, he died instantly. When I saw brother Imran holding him and crying, I couldn’t take it. Khalid died at the hospital here, he was breathing and everything and they gave him oxygen but he died here,” Azeez added.
He was loud in his praise for the staff at the Mahaicony Hospital.
“From when I got here, they stabilized some of them. The Mahaicony ambulance was very good,” Azeez said.
An eyewitness who lives a few yards away from the scene told Kaieteur News that he heard what sounded like a tyre blow out and then saw smoke.
He said he later saw persons running towards where the sound and smoke came from and he too went to see what had happened.
When he eventually got there he saw, several persons lying on the ground and “at least two of them appeared to be dead.”
The vehicle they were travelling in was on its side. According to the eyewitness, initially motorists were reluctant to put the injured persons in their vehicles but eventually, some kindhearted persons assisted in getting them to the Mahaicony Hospital.
Kaieteur News was told that Williams was a Third Form student of the Alach Zali Muslim School. When this newspaper visited his home his mother was still unaware of the child’s passing.
According to an elder brother, they were trying their best to break the news to the woman.
Meanwhile, Raheem Xavier’s grandparents cried loudly after learning of his death.
His grandmother, Kharoon Ali, told Kaieteur News that Xavier would normally go along with elders from the Muslim community to various events.
Yesterday was no different, the woman said. Her grandson got up early and was picked up by the elders.
Kaieteur News was told that Xavier was a Second Former at the Charlestown Secondary School.
His mother died several years ago and Xavier was left in the care of his grandparents and four other siblings.
Yesterday at the Georgetown Hospital, internal security had a difficult time trying to restrain several persons who turned up to get information about their injured relatives.
Zafeek Ali, the father of 11-year-old Fazil Ali, told Kaieteur News that his son was heading to Blairmont, West Bank Berbice for a religious ceremony.
The father said he received the message sometime after 10:00hrs and was heading up to Mahaicony, but turned around after learning his son was being transferred to the GPHC.