A head-on collision yesterday, around 06:45 hours, between a police vehicle and a private car that occurred at Friendship, East Bank Demerara (EBD) has left five persons dead and one seriously injured.
Dead are 23-year-old Presidential Guard, Ronnel Barker, of Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara (ECD); 58-year-old Herbert Josiah and his wife, 57-year-old Denise Josiah, of 105 Friendship Squatting Area, EBD. Reports suggest that the couple had only been married for the past two months. Also dead are 61-year-old Special Constable Lovern Stoby of Third Street, Friendship, EBD and her nephew 33-year-old Leon Tucker, a Lieutenant attached to the Guyana Defence Force.
The lone survivor of the accident is 25-yearold Travis Fullington, a Presidential Guard, who resides at lot 33 Princess Street Georgetown. He was a passenger in the police car which was driven by Barker.
This publication understands that Fullington is in a critical condition at the Georgetown Public Hospital Cooperation (GPHC).
Based on reports, the police vehicle, at the time of the accident, was proceeding south along the EBD corridor in the direction of Timehri while the private car with registration number PPP 515 was headed north reportedly to Georgetown. Tucker was said to be driving the private car at the time of the accident.
Initial reports indicate that the police vehicle, with sirens blaring, was on its way to escort President David Granger from his Pearl, EDB home when that accident occurred. However, a statement issued by the government’s Public Information and Press Unit clarified that the police vehicle was not a part of a presidential convoy.
According to information, Special Constable Stoby was on the road awaiting transportation to head to work when her nephew, Tucker, offered her a drop since he was heading in the same direction. Herbert Josiah and his wife were reportedly already in the car.
CCTV footage of the horrific accident shows when the police vehicle slammed into the car. Further into the video shows that upon seeing the police car with its blaring sirens, Tucker applied brakes and stopped in his lane. Nevertheless, the police car slammed into the private car during which it clipped its front before spinning out of control and coming to a rest in a nearby trench. As a result of the impact the front of the private car was severely damaged and skidded several feet away. Smoke could be seen coming from the police car.
When this newspaper arrived on the scene Tucker’s body was protruding from the shattered windscreen of the private car and the bodies of his aunt and the married couple were lying on the side of the road.
Upon learning of the tragic passing of their loved ones, family members rushed to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre where many of them were inconsolable. Some family members fainted, while others remained in shock over the horrific accident.
In an interview, the emotional daughter of Denise Josiah, Jawellla Durant, said that her mother and stepfather both worked at the Diamond Hospital. According to the young woman, the couple had left for work together as per norm when the tragic accident occurred. Denise Josiah leaves to mourn six children and her husband leaves behind 13. Together the couple had no children.
“Every morning mommy and uncle Herbert would leave to go to work. I still can’t believe that this happen to my mother… them police, them does feel that they can drive anyhow on this road…now look what happened to my mother. Mommy didn’t deserve to die like that. Is only two months now since dem get married; now look what happened,” lamented Durant.
Meanwhile, Diane Tucker, who is the sister of Special Constable Stoby and mother of Lieutenant Leon Tucker, said that she only heard of the incident around 09:00 hours when a friend informed her.
However, during an interview, another family member of the duo, who was at the scene at the accident, said that “since morning I hear about this accident so I come out on the road because dem done tell me that Lovern was in the car.”
“When I reach at the scene bodies been lying everywhere on the road and I keep asking who is the driver…but nobody did not tell me, and I did not see the driver face because he was hanging out the front of the car face down,” the relative said.
According to the relative too, “Is till when I reach at the hospital I get a phone call from Leon brother telling me that he was the driver of the car and that he did not survive the impact.”
The children of Herbert Josiah were in shock upon receiving the devastating news about their father’s demise. Four of the man’s children fainted in the compound of the hospital upon seeing his body being placed into a hearse.
Lovern Stoby leaves to mourn four children while Leon Tucker leaves to mourn his wife and a three-month old daughter.
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