Mar 09, 2013 News
…drivers in custody
A 13-year-old student of the Tagore Memorial Secondary School on the Corentyne lost her life while traveling on her way to school in a Tapir shortly after 08:00 hrs yesterday.
In what might have been the first fatal accident in a very long time involving Tapirs, the two- vehicle smash- up occurred along the treacherous Number 68 Village turn resulting in several persons—mainly school children on their way to school—and a teacher, being injured.
However, Nicola Artie Bridgelall was not so lucky. She was due to migrate to St. Kitts next Friday.
Reports state that one vehicle, H 6505 was heading north to Tagore School when it collided with another HA 2572, heading south.
“The other one [HA 2572] turn in front of him, and when he turned, he ‘draw brakes’ and hit the other one [HA 2572] on its side,” stated an eyewitness.
The two drivers, who both reside at Number 72 Village, are currently in police custody at the Springlands Police Station. The driver of HA 2572, reportedly tried to flee the scene but was quickly accosted by villagers.
That same driver is reported to have been “banned [by police] from driving” a few months ago.
Three passengers along with the driver and conductor were in the Tapir H 6505 while reports suggest that two passengers, excluding the driver occupied HA 2572.
The child’s mother, Pushmawattie ‘Navita’ Bridgelall, was too traumatized to speak about the incident. The dead child’s grandmother, Priya, said that the family heard about the accident shortly after 08:00 hrs yesterday and rushed to the scene.
The child left home in the usual manner and took her brother to a nearby nursery school, after which she boarded the vehicle. “We heard that the driver who knock her down was hiding in another Tapir but the police catch him and took him down”, she related.
“She was a very clever girl- -a very good girl. The whole class of children started to cry this morning when they heard about her death,” her grandmother related. “My granddaughter very good, she said while breaking down in tears. Only Friday [coming] she suppose to ‘go away’—to St. Kitts, to develop her life”.
At the Lot 11 Number 71 Village home yesterday, the headmistress of the school which the child attended and a few teachers were also present with the grieving family.
Kowsilla Ramroop, 14, was traveling with her best friend, Nicola. The traumatized young lady was, up to press time, still not aware that Bridgelall had died. She stated that she became very scared when the Tapir she was in hit the other.
She sustained minor injuries about her forehead and was admitted to the Skeldon Hospital and then released. “Every morning we catch the same Tapir”.
Other students of Line Path Secondary School who were passengers of HA 2572 also received minor injuries.
Young Nicola leaves to mourn her siblings Rohit, 11; Isha 5; Kevin 4 and her father, Anand Shiwprasad.
Tapirs are relatively popular along the Upper Corentyne area for traveling. The fares are reasonable and accident rates are virtually low to non- existent.
A Tapir is a small homemade box shaped van that accommodates about eight passengers. After 30 years they are the only mode of public transportation between Crabwood Creek and N0. 51 Village on the Corentyne.
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