Thanks to social media postings, police have tracked down the driver who fled after killing Chapil Dave Kumar in the presence of his pregnant wife at Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara on Thursday night.
The driver, identified as a filling station employee, turned himself in to Traffic ranks at the Leonora Police Station around noon yesterday, shortly after his car was found abandoned near a rice-field at Vergenoegen, East Bank Essequibo. Police took statements from the suspect as well as from the victim’s pregnant wife, who is the main eyewitness. Investigators also returned to the crime scene.
A police release stated that the 25-year-old driver “surrendered to police and has since admitted to his involvement in the accident, claiming that the pedestrian (deceased) ran into the path of his vehicle.
“The vehicle PKK 7495, which is registered to a resident of Parika was found to be tinted and several of its documents expired.
“The driver, 25, of Tuschen Old Road, EBE is being processed for court at Leonora on Monday since the post-mortem is expected to conclude earlier the same day.
Among the charges likely to be instituted are causing death by dangerous driving unlicensed motor vehicle; uninsured motor vehicle; tinted motor vehicle; failure to stop after an accident and failure to render assistance.
“He knew that the end of the road was reaching, that’s why he turned himself in,” Govinda Persaud, an uncle of the victim said.
Kaieteur News understands that the suspect’s white Toyota AT 192, was stashed between two trailers and was covered with a blue tarpaulin.
The number plates had been removed but ranks located documents that identified the licence number and vehicle owner.
There are reports that the suspect had attempted to have the vehicle repaired, but a body-shop owner refused to work on the car after learning of its possible link to last Thursday’s hit-and-run tragedy.
It is believed that after failing to have the vehicle repaired, the suspect stashed it early yesterday at Tuschen, where police and an uncle of the dead man found it.
Kumar’s uncle, Govinda Persaud, told Kaieteur News that while they were preparing to have the vehicle towed away, someone in another vehicle ‘circled’ the area twice.
Shortly after, the suspect’s mother and a brother showed up.
According to the uncle, the man’s relative said that they had not known of his involvement in the accident.
“I asked the mother if ‘is a dog your son kill, (in reference to his driving away) and she did not answer,” the uncle said.
He related that shortly after the police questioned individuals at a bodywork shop, they were informed that the suspect was at the Leonora Police Station.
He lauded individuals who kept posting information on social media for helping him and police to track the suspect, and for forcing the individual to surrender. The family had also posted their contact numbers on social media, and the uncle had been following up on the tips the family was receiving.
“This was as a result of good collaboration between social media, the police and myself,” he told Kaieteur News. “I did not give up.”
The uncle said that he saw the suspect at the station.
“I asked him if he knew that today was my nephew’s birthday and you are the killer and he just smiled.”
Chapil Dave Kumar, 23, and his pregnant wife, Roshini, were reportedly waiting for a taxi in front of Tiwari Drug Store, Uitvlugt Public Road around 23.00 hrs when a speeding white Toyota 192 struck him.
The driver never stopped.
Kumar reportedly fell on the bonnet before being dragged several feet.
Kumar’s body was mangled and it is believed his neck was broken.
One of his legs was also severed below the knee. That limb was found the following day in the drug store compound.
According to a sister, the couple has a three-year-old daughter. His wife, Roshini, is several months pregnant.
Kumar was said to be a devoted, hard-working family man who sold perfumes and other haberdasheries for a living.
The family took to social media, appealing for information to identify and bring the driver to justice.
Several numbers were listed for persons who may have information to call.
According a relative, there are security cameras in the neighbourhood and investigators are working to check the images.
Kumar would have celebrated his 24th birthday yesterday.
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