Mini-bus horror survivors still critical

Guyana Chronicle
March 9, 2000

MEDICAL personnel at the Georgetown Hospital yesterday reported that the 15 remaining survivors from the Monday accident at Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara were still considered critical but stable.

They said they were being monitored by hospital staff.

According to nurses, most of them suffered multiple injuries about their bodies and will not be discharged until they have recuperated satisfactorily.

Still in the hospital yesterday were:

Seon Hicks, 22, of 380 Independence Boulevard, Georgetown; Tryone Dowding, 10, of 70 Evans Street; Cheryl Williams, 36, of 31 Albouys Street, Albouystown; Michelle Azore, 27, of Evans Street; Fibian Jessop, 23, of 173 Sussex Street; Latoya Hodge, 5 and Ryan Hodge, 7, Aubrey Hodge, 2, all of 7 Evans Street; Wayne Brimo, 18 months; Eon Howard, 21, of 38 Walker Terrace; Devon Ridley, 26, of 182 Garnett Street, Albouystown; Alwin Brimo, 37, of Evans Street; Mellisha Ault, 14, of 21 Broad and Saffon Streets; Ossie Joseph, 19, also of Broad and Saffon Streets; Oswald Joris, 37, of 50 First Avenue, Bartica, Essequibo.

Dead are:

Ronetha Jessop, 5, of 173 Sussex Street; John Douglas, 30, the driver of the mini-bus, of Campbell Street, Albouystown; his reputed wife Deon Innis, 25 and their two-year-old son, Jermaine; Violet Sinclair, in her 40s, of Evans Street, Charlestown her sister Barbara Sinclair, 34, of 182 Garnett Street; Sudulia Frankyln; Orlando King, seven, of Sussex Street; Kesha Currica, 30, of 70 Middle Road, La Penitence; Odessa Joseph and her 18-month-daughter, Kenisha Joseph and Roxanne Davis, 35, also of Evans Street, all Georgetown addresses.

The accident, involving the bus named `The King' and a sand truck occurred at around 06:00 hours Monday near the Mon Repos market.

At the time of the smash-up, 28 persons were travelling in the 15-seater mini-bus, which survivors said was speeding along the public road when it collided with the truck.

Five died on the spot, five on the way to the hospital and two at the hospital.

Ronetha Jessop dies Tuesday becoming the seventh member of her family to perish in the accident.

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.

The crash was discussed at Cabinet Tuesday 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 Tuesday'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.