The truck driver, who had been accused of crushing Police Constable Edison Williams to death while
he was placing barricade along the Providence Access Road in preparation for an entertainment event last year, was yesterday freed on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
David Persaud, of 94- 97 First Hill Linden, Soesdyke Highway was accused of driving motor lorry GLL 8197 in a manner dangerous to the public, thereby causing the death of Williams on July 6, 2015.
According to reports, the officer was placing barricades on the road at the time in preparation for traffic control at the new Hits and Jams Water World, for the Sand, Water and Sun (SWS) soca on the beach event when the incident occurred.
It was alleged that around 09:45h he was struck down and ran over by the vehicle driven by Persaud. Constable Williams was pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). At the time of his demise, Williams, who hails from Berbice, was attached to the Brickdam Police Station Enquires Office.
When the matter came up yesterday in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan informed the court that Persaud was found not guilty as charged for the offence. During the summing up of evidence, the Magistrate told the court that there was no evidence that suggested that Persaud was driving in a dangerous manner when the accident occurred.
According to the Magistrate, this was found after the revision of evidence led by both the defence and prosecution.
Magistrate McLennan told the court that the prosecution led by Police Inspector, Neville Jeffers, had failed to prove that the truck driver drove negligently, although its witnesses were credible. These witnesses, who were in proximity to the accident, all testified that Persaud was not driving at a fast rate. However, the Magistrate attested that the court had no doubt that the truck drove over the Police Constable and caused his death.
Attorney Glenn Hanoman represented Persaud throughout the trial. Hanoman had contended that it was a ‘freak accident’ at the close of the defence’s case. He had argued that the prosecution had failed to prove that Persaud was driving dangerously at the time of the accident.
However, the lawyer did concede that the prosecution had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Williams died as a result of the accident.
The attorney had told the court, “The only sensible explanation for what happened in this matter is while Williams was carrying this barrier and while he was trying to maneouvre the barrier, he turned it four feet onto the roadway. After the truck had almost passed him…the barrier hooked onto the back of the truck…and Williams propelled from the parapet to under the wheel of the truck.”
When Persaud was called on to lead a defence, he chose to give sworn testimony. He had testified that on the date in question, he was driving the truck with caution along the Providence Access Road to deliver sand. He had told the court that he disembarked the vehicle after hearing a funny sound. The witness had stated that it sounded as if two pieces of metal had collided.
But Persaud related that as he checked around he noticed the motionless body of the police officer lying under the truck.
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