A week ago, Lorraine Dass called Lalowtie, was a busy traveling saleswoman, plying her trade at markets all the way up to Berbice, with her husband, Parmanand.
Today, the mother of three daughters has not only lost her husband, but is now confined to bed with a broken leg as a result of a four-vehicle smash-up on the Bachelor’s Adventure Public Road, East Coast Demerara, last Saturday.
Dass, 40, and her husband, were pinned by an out of control truck which had slammed into three other vehicles. And to make matters worse, their vehicle was looted by persons who pretended to be assisting them.
Dass was in hospital when she got the news that her husband of 20 years had succumbed to his injuries.
However, her present condition would certainly prevent her from attending his funeral.
Recalling the ordeal, Dass said that she and her husband were returning from Rosignol after conducting business. There was more than $1M worth of goods in their bus.
She said that as they reached Bachelor’s Adventure, she heard a loud crash and before she knew it, a truck was in their lane and it slammed the front of their bus.
Because of the head-on impact, Dass and her husband were pinned in the vehicle.
“Some people tried to help us and after that, when I came out after the boys pulled me out and I look back in the bus, there was nothing in the bus; the bus clean; everything just vanished,” Dass recalled.
She cannot identify any of the looters.
According to Dass, her husband, who was semi-conscious at the time, was eventually freed from the wrecked minibus and along with several other passengers of the other bus, was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital.
Lorraine Dass said that the last time she spoke to her husband was while they were heading to the hospital and his words were despairing.
“All what he tell me when we going in the ambulance was that he gone die; that he can’t make it. His foot break two places and his chest was crushed by the steering wheel, that was so sad because blood just keep running down his face and I keep wiping it,” Dass said.
Dass said that while they were heading to the hospital, she remembered that she had secreted some money in the bus. She contacted a close friend who is a policeman stationed at the Vigilance Police Station and told him where to find it.
That money, $140,000 was subsequently handed over to her after it was retrieved by a public spirited person in the presence of the police friend.
The couple was separated for good at the Accident and Emergency unit of the hospital, because doctors first attended to the critical Parmanand Dass.
Although her husband had given up the fight to live, Lorraine Dass kept willing herself to think that he would be alright. But something deep down inside her told her otherwise. “After they put the tubes in him, was sheer blood coming through them.” That was when she resigned herself to the inevitable.
She said that a friend of her husband had visited him in hospital and it was he who relayed the news of his death to her, even as she was being treated for her broken right foot.
“I can’t do nothing at the moment; my brother has to do everything for me. If I want to go to the bathroom, he has to fetch me,” Dass told this newspaper.
She lamented the fact that since the accident, neither the truck driver who was released on bail, nor the owner of the truck, took the time to pay her a visit. Police said they had rearrested the driver after Parmanand died, and he is expected to appear in court next week.
“I need justice for real, because this country don’t have justice. To lose a life like that is not easy,” Dass said.
Parmanand Dass will be cremated at the Good Hope crematorium on Sunday, but his wife will only get to view his body when it is brought to their home. “I can’t make it, I can’t move my foot. It is very hurtful; I can’t make it to the ground,” she said.
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