…10 occupants crammed into car
The town of New Amsterdam was plunged into deep shock yesterday, as news of the death of three and injuries of seven of its citizens spread like wildfire. Ten young people crammed into a White Toyota Raum heading to the city, after attending a pool- side party in Angoy’s Avenue, New Amsterdam. The driver lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a turn on the West Berbice public road.
Dead are Tommy Thomas, 22, of 20 St. John Street, New Amsterdam; Jeron Gregory James of 65 Amsville Housing Scheme, New Amsterdam; and another male who so far remains unidentified. Word is that he resided in the Berbice River.
The driver, Devon Pydanna, 28, of Lot 39 Stanleytown, miraculously survived, and up to press time yesterday was a patient at the New Amsterdam Hospital. He sustained internal injuries and is nursing a collapsed kidney.
According to a police press release yesterday, Pydanna was allegedly driving the motor car at a fast rate along the Golden Grove Public Road, West Coast Berbice. It was shortly after midnight when he lost control of the vehicle and collided with two parked motor lorries.
The turn is a dangerous one because paddy trucks are parked on both sides of the road, prompting drivers to approach with caution at all times. The mangled wreck of the car was left on the scene.
According to Tommy Thomas’s grandmother, Veronica, they were all heading to do some more partying in Georgetown. “It appears as if they were going to party….and they met up with this accident by the rice mills—where the trucks are parked,” she noted.
She received the bad news shortly after 01:30 hr yesterday, and immediately rushed to the Fort Wellington Hospital. “There were nine of them in the vehicle—they pack tight!”
“I took a taxi and went across where I witnessed the body of Tommy lying there—his eyes were open—the pain (for me) was too much,” she said, then broke down in tears. Thomas was seated in the back of the car.
She said that all of the occupants were friends. She last saw Tommy on Sunday afternoon. “His mother fixed his clothes, because he said he was going to a party—she helped him to fix his clothes,” Veronica Thomas said. She said that her grandson, who had a physical disability, was well-known to everyone in New Amsterdam.
Even the parishioners at his local Catholic Church were shocked yesterday as the bells began to toll early in the morning, signaling a death in the church. “Everybody knew Tommy…though he was a special child; he tried to fit in with everybody.”
He leaves his mom, dad, four sisters and a brother to mourn. His body is at the Arokium Funeral Home awaiting a post mortem examination.
Jeron James’s grandparents said that he recently joined the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). “They must have been going fast,” he said. The family remembered the boy as a very jovial and active churchgoer. James, he said, would usually visit them. He leaves to mourn his mom, dad, two sisters and two brothers.
Among the other passengers who were injured is Llewanna Ross, 18, of East Canje, Berbice. She is suffering from multiple injuries and continues to be a patient at the New Amsterdam Hospital.
Jamacie Munroe, 18, of Lot 56 Stanleytown, New Amsterdam also remains hospitalized in Georgetown. She suffered a fractured neck as well as head injuries.
Janet Blackman, 27, of Lot 39 Stanleytown, also remains a patient with multiple injuries at the New Amsterdam Hospital; Dianelle Toney, 19, of Nicolay Street, New Amsterdam regained consciousness around noon yesterday after she was transferred to New Amsterdam Hospital from the Fort Wellington Hospital. Her aunt, Mellisa Fraser, said that “her back is dislocated.”
“They did the x-ray but what the doctor was saying that they needed to do a CT Scan as well,” Fraser said. According to the aunt, Dianelle and Blackman were both seated in the front of the car, with the driver in his seat.
Also hospitalized at New Amsterdam are Malcolm Williams, 22, of 41 Housing Scheme, New Amsterdam and Shackeem Benjamin, 21, of Nicolay Street, New Amsterdam.
Police are investigating.
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