Mini-bus horror death toll reaches 12
- President directs tougher stand against speeding

Guyana Chronicle
March 8, 2000

THE death toll from Monday's Mon Repos mini-bus crash rose to 12 yesterday with five-year-old Ronetha Jessop becoming the seventh member of her family to perish in the accident.

She suffered multiple injures when the mini-bus named `The King' crashed into a sand truck near the market at Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara.

Ronetha was among the 17 injured taken to the Georgetown Hospital and was one of those being closely monitored by doctors and nurses in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.

A hospital source said she had multiple injures mostly to the abdomen and was one of three children who underwent surgery.

She was conscious yesterday morning when relatives visited her but died just after noon.

A nurse said 18-month-old Wayne Brimo, who sustained several contusions and two-year-old Aubrey Hodge, who received injures to the abdomen, were being monitored closely.

Medical Superintendent, Dr Madan Rambarran speaking to reporters before Ronetha died, said two of the three children admitted from the accident were still critical. He said the other patients were in stable condition.

The crash was discussed at Cabinet yesterday and President Bharrat Jagdeo has directed the Police to take a tougher stand against speeding, overcrowding and other traffic violations.

Police said initial investigations showed speeding was a "major contributory factor" when the mini-bus carrying 28 persons crashed into the truck laden with sand at about 06:00 hrs.

Five passengers, including an 18-month-old baby, died on the spot, five on the way to hospital and one shortly after arrival there.

In a statement after yesterday's regular Cabinet meeting, Mr Jagdeo expressed "deep shock and...anguish" at the "horrendous accident" and said he was "saddened by this tragic loss of lives, including those of our babies in the continuing senseless episodes on our roads."

The President said Cabinet expressed "revulsion over the spate of road accidents and...asked me to express sympathy to the many bereaved families who have lost loved ones."

He said he has also directed that a law be enacted for safety belts to be worn in vehicles.

The 15-seater mini-bus, hired by a group of friends and family from Georgetown was returning to the city from the Sunday Mashramani (Republic anniversary) celebrations in New Amsterdam when the accident occurred.

The dead are:

** John Douglas, 30, driver of the mini-bus, of Campbell Street, Albouystown, Georgetown

** His reputed wife Deon Innis, 25

** Their two-year-old son, Jermaine

** Violet Sinclair, in her 40s, of Evans Street, Charlestown, Georgetown and her sister

** Barbara Sinclair, 34, of 182 Garnette Street

** Sudulia Frankyln (address unknown)

** Orlando King, seven, of Sussex Street, Georgetown

** Kesha Currica, 30, of 70 Middle Road, La Penitence, Georgetown

** Odessa Joseph, 23, of 70 Evans Street and her daughter

** Kenisha Joseph, 18 months

** Roxanne Davis, 35, also of Evans Street and

** Ronetha

Those injured are:

** Seon Hicks, 22, of 380 Independence Boulevard, Georgetown

** Tyrone Dowding, 10, of 70 Evans Street

** Cheryl Williams, 36, of 31 Albouys Street, Albouystown

** Michelle Azore, 27, Evans Street

** Fibian Jessop, 23, of 173 Sussex Street

** Oswald Joris, 37, of 50 First Avenue, Bartica

** Latoya Hodge, 5

** Ryan Hodge, 7

** Aubrey Hodge, 2, all of 7 Evans Street

** Eon Howard, 21, of 38 Walker Terrace, Georgetown

** Devon Ridley, 26, of 182 Garnett Street, Albouystown

** Wayne Brimo, 7

** Alwin Brimo, 37, of Evans Street

** Mellisha Ault, 14, of 21 Broad and Saffon Streets Georgetown

** Ossie Joseph, 19, Broad and Saffon Street

** Odessia Edwards, 19, Evans Street