President orders state help for accident victims' funerals
- family head hopes six can be buried together

Guyana Chronicle
March 10, 2000

PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo, who is away on official business, has left instructions with the relevant government agency to help relatives bury the victims of Monday's fatal accident at Mon Repos on the East Coast Demerara.

Of the 12 who died, four have already been buried.

They are Sudella Franklyn, who was buried Wednesday, John Douglas, driver of the ill-fated mini-bus in which the victims were travelling when they met their end, his reputed wife Deon Innis and their two-year-old son, Jermaine.

Innis, 25, and her son were laid to rest yesterday afternoon at Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara, from where she hailed.

Douglas, 30, was buried at hometown Soesdyke on the East Bank Demerara.

Seven-year-old Orlando King and his five-year-old cousin, Ronetha Jessop, are to be buried Monday.

According to relatives, they will be buried at the Le Repentir Cemetery after funeral services at the St Stephen's Church, Charlestown, Georgetown.

A date is to be fixed for the burial of the remaining six, all of whom are from the same family.

They are Violet Sinclair and her two sisters, Barbara Sinclair and Roxanne Davis, brother Wayne's reputed wife, Kesha Currica, and Barbara's daughter, Odessa Joseph and her 18-month-old daughter, Kenisha Joseph.

Head of the family, Ms Lucille Brimo, said yesterday she does not want to bury them separately and would have liked to do so as early as possible if only she had the money.

She hopes, however, that by next weekend or so her circumstances will change and that she will be able to give them all a decent funeral.

In a statement through his office, President Jagdeo, who left the country yesterday for a summit in Guadeloupe, conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the dead and wished the survivors "a speedy and complete recovery".

The statement said he also joins with Cabinet to call on drivers and other road users to exercise care and restraint when using the roadways so as to minimise accidents and road fatalities.

Home Affairs Minister, Mr Ronald Gajraj, the statement said, is reviewing recommendations and proposals to make the roadways safer.

Meanwhile, nurses at the Georgetown Hospital said yesterday that the 15 persons admitted there following the accident were still being closely monitored.

They are Seon Hicks, 22, of 380 Independence Boulevard, La Penitence; Tyrone Dowding, 10, of 70 Evans Street, Charlestown; Cheryl Williams, 36, of 31 Albouys Street, Albouystown; Michelle Azore, 27, of Evans Street, Charlestown; Fibian Jessop, 23, of 173 Sussex Street, Albouystown; Latoya, Ryan and Aubrey Hodge, aged five, seven and two respectively, all of Evans Street, Charlestown; 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, Charlestown; Mellisha Ault, 14, of 21 Broad and Saffon Streets, Charlestown; Ossie Joseph, 19, of the same address; and Oswald Joris, 37, of 50 First Avenue, Bartica.

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 died Tuesday becoming the seventh member of her family to perish in the accident.

The crash was discussed at Cabinet Tuesday and President 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" to the accident.

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

The 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.