Cemetery Road bridge for repairs
…days after tragic accident
Senior Government Engineer Walter Willis has said that works on the dilapidated bridge at Cemetery Road, will commence tomorrow, just days after 16-year-old Elbert Thorne died when the vehicle he was in veered off the bridge on Saturday night.
Willis told Kaieteur News that selected contractors from the Ministry of Public Works have already submitted bids. According to Willis, the estimated cost of the bridge is known, but he could not state it because he didn’t have the documentation in his possession. He explained that the new bridge will be constructed with reinforced concrete with steel decks and plates.
Meanwhile relatives of the injured teen have said that they will be exploring their legal avenues. A close relative told Kaieteur News that the incident could have been prevented if the relevant authorities had looked after the bridge.
The lad succumbed at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation shortly after midnight on Sunday. Kaieteur News understands that he had sustained head injuries, and water had entered his lungs after he was trapped in the submerged car for several minutes.
The tragedy occurred after the car in which the mother and son were passengers veered off the decrepit bridge and toppled into a canal.
The mother and driver managed to scramble to safety but Elbert Thorne, a former student of Kingston Community High School and Zenon Academy, was trapped in the overturned vehicle for several minutes. Eyewitness reports indicate that the driver suffered a blowout and lost control after accidentally driving into one of the large holes on the bridge.
The rescuers eventually hauled Elbert Thorne, who was unconscious, from the vehicle. The occupants were all rushed to the GPHC. One eyewitness told Kaieteur News that the driver was travelling at a slow rate but encountered problems after one of the front wheels ended up in one of the many deep ridges on the bridge.
Last Wednesday, US-based Guyanese Christopher Giles almost perished after his vehicle also toppled off the same bridge. He managed to unbuckle his seat-belt and crawl through the driver’s window.
In a brief telephone interview, Mayor Hamilton Green said that the Ministry of Public Works is responsible for repairs to the bridge. According to Green, he had made several enquiries of his City Engineer and Town Clerk about the structure. He alleged that despite repeated requests to the Government, no financial assistance has been forthcoming.