– Residents display “weakness for sweetness”
An overturned truck (GEE 9894), transporting approximately $2 million worth of sugar, sparked residents of Public Road, Goed Fortuin, to help themselves to the quantity of the commodity which spilled out of the vehicle.
According to the driver of the truck, who would not disclose his name to Kaieteur News, as he was driving along the Goed Fortuin Public Road, in the direction of the Demerara Harbour Bridge, the truck suddenly begun to lose acceleration, and he instinctively pulled over to avoid blocking traffic.
The truck toppled and ended in a yard. The sugar which was being transported spilt out, prompting residents to begin gathering to collect what they could.
About 100 people appeared, carrying plastic bags, buckets and even plates, and frantically garnered as much as their containers could hold.
Shouts of “Food price gone up,” and “Free sugar fuh everybody,” rang through the afternoon air as men, women and children hurriedly filled their containers.
Word about the overturned sugar truck quickly spread, and soon scores of others began to appear at the site on foot and some even coming by horse cart.
Some time after the truck had released its contents, the owner of the truck, Ronald Sammy, appeared and attempted to stop persons from “stealing the sugar.” Despite his efforts, persons continued to swarm the truck and to help themselves to the fare.
Sammy then withdrew a firearm and discharged some rounds into the air in an apparent bid to disperse the crowd. As some persons fled from the vicinity of the truck, Sammy then walked in front of the truck and asked those that remained not to take the sugar from inside the bins of the truck.
“Tek it from de ground, but don’t put yuh hands inside de bin,” Sammy yelled.
The residents once again gathered around in numbers and continued to help themselves, despite Sammy’s efforts. He once again discharged rounds from his firearm into the air.
“I gun gotta pay fuh all ah de sugar y’all tekkin,” Sammy reasoned with the people, but to no avail.
Bystanders reported that the gunshots startled small children who were on their way home from school. “I had to hold one fuh stop she from running cross de road, after she hear dem gunshots,” explained one resident who reprimanded Sammy.
According to Sammy, he had attempted to summon assistance from the police at the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station, but was apparently told that they would not be able to assist him, as there was nothing that they could do.
People reported seeing a police vehicle drive past the scene shortly before Sammy turned up. The vehicle, however, did not stop.
“What I gun do?” asked Sammy, as he walked away from the overturned truck. “I call de police, but dem ain’t want fuh come. These people thiefin my sugar.” Sammy subsequently summoned security personnel from the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate.
The single security guard who arrived on the scene sometime later was unable to do very much when faced with the mass of sugar seekers. Efforts by Sammy, the driver of the truck and the Estate security guard to prevent persons from reaching into the bins of the truck and removing sugar proved futile.
Eventually, a Hymac excavator was summoned to help move the truck, but by this time, a sizeable quantity of the sugar had already disappeared.
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