…as fire-truck slams into car
Yesterday yet another horrific accident occurred on the East Bank of Demerara Public Road, and this one claimed the life of 23-year-old Vishram Lall of 217 Herstelling, East Bank Demerara and resulted in injuries to three other passengers.
It is reported that firemen in response to a call from Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara, around 12:45 hrs, were en route to the scene, when their vehicle collided with a motor car (PMM 447) along the East Bank Demerara public road.
The fire-truck (PMM 2166) was about to turn at the intersection between the East Bank Demerara roadway and the Demerara Harbour Bridge when it slammed into car which was heading in a northerly direction towards Georgetown.
Kaieteur News understands that there were four occupants in the car at the time – the driver, Lall, his 17-year-old cousin Michael Kerry Lawrence, and their two friends who were identified as Rajendra Ramlochan, 23, and 19-year-old Ricky Johnnie, called “Richie”.
When this newspaper arrived at the scene, the motor car was in a mangled state and surrounded by curious onlookers, while the fire-truck was parked in the corner of the roadway which leads to the Demerara Harbour Bridge.
None of the occupants of the car was present as the crowd that gathered related that a Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation vehicle was used to transport the injured to the hospital moments after the incident occurred.
One eyewitness told this publication that he was at the pedestrian crossing when he saw the fire-truck “hit into the car dragging it along the road”. The man stated that the fire-truck did not stop quickly enough and when it eventually parked in the corner the firemen did not render assistance to the injured men immediately.
He said “the firetruck jus’ park there (pointing to the area) and the firemen ain’t stay to help the people. They jus left there. I run to help get them (the passengers of the car) out as soon as I could to help save they lives. Other people run to help too. Why the firemen ain’t come to do that, I don’t know”.
Some persons were of the notion that the firemen were responsible for the accident, however, the driver of the fire-truck was overheard reporting to his seniors who had arrived at the scene, that a vehicle which was directly in front of the car (PMM 447) stopped to allow the firetruck to turn onto the Demerara Harbour Bridge.
The driver of the motor-car then overtook/ undertook the vehicle and collided with the fire-truck which was halfway through the turn.
The fireman reportedly said “the vehicle in front of the car stop and the car (PMM 447) just bore through and end up knocking into us. I don’t know if he has his window up with music or what”.
It was reported that the fire-truck had on flashing lights and its siren was in full blare.
The owner of the vehicle, Vino Lall, told Kaieteur News that he was “100% sure” that the car did not have loud music while it was being operated, as he had taken out the music set a few days prior with the intention of having his entire car cleaned.
He said “there wasn’t any music because no music system or set were in the vehicle. I can take you by my house and show you right now where the music equipment is”.
Kaieteur News understands that the firemen’s destination was Middle Street, Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara, where they had received information that there was a fire. When the accident took place another fire-truck had to be summoned to visit the location where it was revealed that there was no fire.
When this newspaper contacted Vino Lall, a short while after the accident, he explained that his brother, Vishram, who was in the front seat, was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the GPHC since he sustained the most serious damage, which included head injuries and internal bleeding as well as broken bones. It was unclear to him as to who was operating the vehicle at the time of the accident.
A police source told Kaieteur News that from the injuries sustained, it was evident that Vishram was the driver of the car, and two of the occupants of the car also stated that Vishram was driving, contrary to the fire-truck driver’s claim that 17-year-old Lawrence was the driver at the time of the accident.
A few hours later, Vishram succumbed. Relatives were upset with the poor services offered at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, EBD, as they explained that Vishram and another passenger of the car were rushed to that health facility while the other two were taken to the GPHC.
The family stated that they waited over an hour for an ambulance to arrive at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre so that Vishram could be transported to the GPHC for emergency treatment.
One family member told Kaieteur News, “If the hospital had an ambulance there, they could have gotten him to emergency care faster and could have saved his life. The doctor at GPHC said that he had a 50/50 chance of survival when he arrived…maybe if he had arrived sooner he would have been alive right now.”
This newspaper also understands that a video recording capturing the entire scene of the accident.
Up to press time, the driver of the fire-truck was in police custody while ranks are currently conducting investigations into the matter.
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