An after-Phagwah ‘hang’ in a Toyota pickup on Tuesday ended tragically with a teenager dead, several injured and a community in shock. The accident happened around 15:30hrs.
It would have been the second fatality involving a pickup and Phagwah revelers for this week.
Dead is Ryan ‘Baby’ Brescenio, 14, of Mora Village, East Bank Essequibo, a community behind Parika and located along the right bank of the Essequibo River.
His cousin, 18-year-old Ronald Chan, is said to be on life-support machines at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
Two others, including a neighbour, is in the hospital with broken limbs.
The driver, a boat builder, who lived opposite the dead teen is reportedly in police custody after he visited the Parika Police Station following the accident.
According to Cynthia Chan, the 20-year-old sister of Brescenio, who was part of the group in the Toyota Tundra pickup, the vehicle’s owner came and collected them for a “Phagwah drive”.
Less than half of a mile away, the driver somehow lost control of the pickup.
Some of the survivors said that the vehicle, GMM 8991, started at speed and slammed into a tree before plunging into a nearby trench.
Ryan, the youngest of four children, who was in the tray, was flung into the trench.
He reportedly hit something, the force crushing his chest. His two older sisters escaped serious injuries.
The injured were rushed to the Leonora Diagnostic Centre where the teen died. His cousin, Ronald, was transferred to the GPHC where he is said to be critical.
Kaieteur News was told that the driver may have had a “shot” or two before the accident.
On Phagwah Day, last Monday, a Ford F150 pickup flipped several times at Houston. Eleven persons celebrating the festival were in the vehicle and its tray.
Hussein was reportedly thrown from the front passenger seat of the vehicle.
Eyewitnesses said that the vehicle was speeding along the McDoom Public Road when the driver ‘lost control’ and the pick-up began to sway wildly along the road.
They recounted that one of the vehicle’s wheel then blew out and it flipped over several times before crashing on its side in the middle of the public road.
The vehicle was still on the accident scene yesterday. At the home, the family of Brescenio was busy erecting a tent for the wake.
At Berbice, the Phagwah madness continued with a middle aged Berbician rushed to GPHC after he was hit by a Hummer.
Not too far away from the Houston accident, at the Banks DIH turn, a family of six was taken to the Woodlands Hospital after a drunken driver smashed into their vehicle.
There were also minor accidents at Industry, East Coast Demerara; Lamaha and Vlissingen Roads, Georgetown; Station Street, Kitty; and Meten-meer-Zorg.
The Guyana Revenue Authority has warned that motor vehicles registered in the ‘G’ and ‘B’ series are being utilized in a manner that contravenes the terms and conditions under which permission had been granted to be registered.
Under the ‘G’ series, vehicle owners are required to have seats fitted at the front of the vehicle for the driver and two porters with the sides completely sealed with metal and not glass. Seats cannot be installed in the rear of the vehicle. The unladen weight of the vehicle, name and address of the registered owner should be painted on the right side of the vehicle.
“The person wishing to register the vehicle as ‘G’ must have a registered business to justify use of a goods transportation vehicle. In addition, the GRA requires that approval be granted by the Commissioner-General, through the office of the Tax Exemption Processing and Verification Unit before a vehicle can be registered as ‘G’.”
GRA had said that goods vehicles should not be used to transport passengers.
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