Police are hunting for a Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) driver who they suspect was involved in a hit-and-run accident Wednesday night on Mandela Avenue, resulting in the death of a 46-year-old man.
According to eyewitnesses, Claude ‘Chippy’ McPherson, a popular food vendor, was struck by an SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) and dragged at least 100 yards from the point of impact. He was found in front of a shop with his bicycle badly mangled. His leg was severely crushed.
The badly wounded man was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, where he later succumbed.
Kaieteur News was told that the father of six was just about to cross the road to get to his food stall which is located not far from the John Fernandes Limited container terminal when the accident occurred.
Eyewitnesses were able to describe the vehicle and they managed to take a note of its registration number, PRR 2923.
Yesterday, Shaka Chase, a relative of the dead man, said that someone informed him that a vehicle with the aforementioned registration number was found at the GWI’s Vlissingen Road and Church Street branch with the front badly damaged.
“Me and a friend went there and we saw the vehicle and next to that vehicle had another GWI vehicle and the driver was sitting inside, so my friend went and asked him what happened to the other vehicle, and the driver said that the driver (of PRR 2923) said he hit a donkey,” Chase said.
According to Chase, the driver then picked up his phone and attempted to call the driver of the damaged SUV, but the man’s phone was switched off.
“He tried to call another worker but his phone was off too, but then he spotted him coming out the office and he called him.”
Kaieteur News was further told that the other GWI worker, when asked what had happened to the damaged SUV, said that the driver hit down somebody and drove away.
“When he said that, right away I said it was my uncle, and the man just ask if it was the accident on Mandela Avenue and I said yes, and he immediately walk back to the office,” Chase said.
Investigators have visited the home of the driver involved, but he was nowhere to be found.
Meanwhile, GWI in a statement said the driver in question reported to work yesterday and submitted a written report of an accident and subsequently asked for ‘personal time’ to visit a relative in hospital.
According to GWI, the report indicated that the accident involved a collision with an animal. The damaged vehicle was returned to the GWI’s Corporate Complex at approximately 21:50 hrs on Wednesday and the keys were lodged with company security.
The accident occurred a little after 21:00hrs.
The release further stated that GWI management recorded the accident and examined the vehicle in question. An investigation was launched by the entity which involved contacting the Guyana Police Force to verify that the driver’s account of the accident was accurate. The Police indicated that no accident involving a GWI vehicle was reported at the time. ”Subsequently, GWI was contacted by the Traffic Department regarding an incident which allegedly involved a vehicle registered to the company.
The company agreed to provide full cooperation to the Traffic Department including granting access to the vehicle in question.
GWI contacted the employee at 12:20hours via his cell phone and he indicated that he would return to work shortly. The employee is yet to report for duty and GWI has provided all necessary information to the Traffic Department.”
The company also extended deepest sympathy to the family of Claude McPherson.
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