Mon Repos crash victim laid to rest

Stabroek News
March 9, 2000

One of the twelve persons who died in the grizzly collision between a mini-bus and a sand truck on Monday was yesterday buried at the Le Repentir Cemetery.

Sudella Franklyn called 'Dolla' of Albouystown was yesterday laid to rest after she was killed on Monday when the mini-bus she was travelling in careened into a sand truck killing twelve of its occupants, including four children, and injuring seventeen others. The accident occurred while the mini-bus was returning from Berbice where it had taken its passengers for the Mashramani celebrations in New Amsterdam on Sunday.

Some family members have complained that five of the dead persons were taken to the Newburg Funeral Parlour without being declared dead by a doctor. Superintendent of Police, Fred Wilson from the traffic department said that a person could be taken from the scene of an accident to a parlour.

Superintendent Wilson told Stabroek News that when an accident occurs civilians who arrive on the scene first usually assist in getting the victims to the hospital before the police arrive. He said when the police arrive they take charge of whatever is left to be done.

The police officer noted that if a person dies on the way to the hospital they can be taken straight to the parlour.

However, he said that he cannot comment on Monday's accident since he was not briefed on the facts but noted that a person can be taken from an accident scene to a funeral home. He said this depends on the case and stressed that each one has to be treated on its own merit. "For instance if a person's head is cut off, you don't have to wait for someone to pronounce him dead to know he is dead," the officer said.

An official from the Merriman's Funeral Home told Stabroek News that it is not unusual for a person to be taken from an accident scene to a parlour.

But Denise Dias, whose daughter was killed during a road accident some years ago and who has since formed the Alecia Foundation, noted that even if a person is said to have died on the scene there is still the issue of taking the body to a parlour of the family's choice. She said the person should be taken to the hospital first and the family would then take the body to a funeral home of their choice.

Managing Director of the Newburg Funeral Parlour, Joe Lyken said that they were called by the police and asked to remove the bodies from the scene. He said they received two calls, one at 6:50 am and the other at 7:20 am. He noted that his funeral parlour would not remove any body from an accident scene without instruction from the police.

Meanwhile, the relatives of the seven victims from Evans Street, Charlestown are proceeding with the wake and funeral arrangements. They told Stabroek News that they have received chairs and tables, sugar, coffee and porridge from the People's National Congress.

According to them the family members will be buried sometime next week. The other accident victims in the hospital are said to be in stable condition.

The persons who died in the bloody carnage on Monday are: Orlando King, John Douglas, Jermaine Douglas, Keisha Corrica, Roxanne David, Deon Inniss, Violet Sinclair and her daughter Ranetta Jessop, Barbra Sinclair, Odessa Joseph and her two-year-old daughter, Kennisha Joseph and Sudella Franklyn.

The injured are: Devon Ridley 22, Melissa Hault, 14, five-year-old Alwin and four-year-old Wayne Brimo, five-year-old Latoya and two-year-old Aubrey Hodge, Eon Heyligar, Fabian Jessop, 24, Oswald Davis called 'Buns', 37, Ceon Hicks, 22, Michelle Azore, 27, Tyrone Dowding and Ossie Joseph, Cheryl Williams, 36 and Odessia Edwards, 19. Seven-year-old Ryan Hodge was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.

The accident involving the Route 41 mini-bus, BGG 5656 which had the names 'The King' and the 'Champion,' and a Leyland truck GGG 5290 fetching a load of sand, occurred at around 0610 hrs on Monday, about 200 yards east of the Mon Repos Market.