“If they had come and said ‘it was an accident, I’m sorry, I would have understood. I had expected that as a human being they would have …”
By Michael Jordan
Whenever a dark-coloured Sports Utility Vehicle passes Terry Singh, his heart beats just that bit faster, and he can’t help wondering if the person behind the wheel killed his wife three years ago.
These days, Singh isn’t as angry as he was back then; though the sense of loss is still there.
What he really wants now is for the driver who left his wife’s mangled body on the roadside to come forward and apologise for leaving him without a wife, and robbing three small girls of their mother.
But a hit-and–run driver with a conscience is a rare thing, and Singh is still to meet that repentant individual.
It was shortly before ten o’clock on the night of Tuesday, July 26, 2011, that Terry Singh’s wife, 26-year-old Kaishrie Persaud, called Nanda, asked her husband to look at the couple’s nine-month-old daughter, and their other two girls, aged eight and six.
Nanda explained that she was following her 16-year-old neighbour, Tricia De Freitas, to a shop near her Lot 10, Crane Old Road, West Coast Demerara home to buy a phone card.
They didn’t get the card. Accompanied by a male resident, Nanda and her teenage neighbor were walking along the West Coast Demerara Public Road, some five minutes from home. That was when the vehicle struck them.
Tricia De Freitas was flung into a nearby ditch, but it was Nanda Persaud who bore the full impact.
Terry Singh got the news from a friend, and when he reached the scene, he saw the injured Tricia De Freitas in a car. The male friend who had accompanied them “was screaming,” he recalled. His injured wife was at the West Demerara Regional Hospital.
He assumed that, at worst, Nanda had suffered “a couple of broken bones.” But one look at Nanda in the Accident and Emergency told him that it was much, much worse.
“When I went into Accident and Emergency I saw her lying motionless. They told me to wait outside, because they were trying to attend to her but I knew that she was dead. After I went back in they told me that she hadn’t made it.”
Sixteen-year-old Tricia De Freitas escaped with minor injuries.
From reports relayed to the grieving husband, the trio was about to enter Crane Housing Scheme when a dark-coloured vehicle, similar to an SUV, and heading east, had swerved onto the northern parapet on the West Coast Demerara roadway.
The vehicle struck Nanda and Tricia, ‘rode over’ a heap of sand before continuing east along the West Coast Demerara Public Road.
Some three weeks later, a close friend of Terry Singh’s provided him with more information about the mystery driver.
“He said that it was hard to face me before because he had assisted at the accident scene. He said that he was going into a restaurant when he heard a loud sound.
“He came back out and a vehicle passed him with a woman and two kids inside, and they (the children) were screaming.”
From the friend’s description, the vehicle was similar to an enclosed SUV “with a (spare) wheel at the back.”
Some reports, investigated by police, suggested that the driver was a woman in the legal profession. Thinking that the hit-and–run driver might have crossed the Demerara Harbour Bridge, a friend of Terry Singh’s checked the closed circuit television images at the bridge for vehicles that had passed at the time of the accident.
He found nothing.
Initially, Singh had hoped that police would have tracked down the driver, or that the culprit would have had an attack of conscience and come to him.
“If they (the driver) had come and said ‘it was an accident, I’m sorry, I would have understood. I had expected that as a human being they would have said ‘it was me, I’m sorry.”
But as days passed and the driver remained unknown, Singh’s anger and frustration grew.
And he wasn’t convinced that police did as much as they could to track down the driver. Rumors that some investigators may have known the individual only added to his frustration.
“I was close to being crazy,” he confessed.
Two years on, Terry Singh (says that the fact that he may never know who killed his wife is making it hard to put that fateful night behind him)
“Whenever I see a (similar) dark-coloured vehicle, I would say ‘what if that is the vehicle?’
“I’m trying to put it behind me, but I think I need confrontation (with the culprit). That person is heartless; knowing that I had a nine-month-old child and they did not even try to contact me, just to say ‘sorry’. I don’t need money. I need an explanation to what took place.”
And even though the older girls were only seven and eight at the time, he believes that they were just as emotionally affected, and, like him, are still to get over their loss.
“Everything just brings it back. It’s hard; every time I look at my kids, it’s hard. She was a good mother to them.”
Anyone with information about the identity of the driver who killed Kaishrie Persaud can contact Michael Jordan at Kaieteur News on telephone numbers 22-58465, 22-58491 or 22-59473. You need not disclose your identity.
You can also reach him on his email address [email protected]
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