Stain Masters bus had swerved to avoid pedestrians
- survivor

Stabroek News
July 9, 2000

A group of persons crossing the road was the cause of last Sunday's fatal mini-bus accident at Coverden in which four persons; three of them employees of the Stain Masters (Guy) Ltd, died.

This was the claim of Kester Williams, one of two survivors in the crash. Speaking with this newspaper from his hospital bed on Thursday, the 25-year-old supervisor of the company which has the contract to clean the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri said that he was sitting in the front seat next to the window at the time of the incident. Next to him were 26-year-old Andre Burrowes and driver of the RZ mini-bus, Lennox Alleyne, 27.

Williams said that while driving through Coverden, the driver had to pull sharply to the right hand side to avoid hitting some people who were crossing the road. However, Williams, whose one eye was swollen shut and with several bruises visible about his body, said that the mini-bus was then directly in the path of an oncoming truck and Alleyne tried to pull back to his side of the road. That was the last thing he remembered, Williams said.

The bus, which had been taking workers to the airport to begin a seven o'clock shift, ran off the road and hit a wallaba post.

Burrowes, Alleyne, and Joel Edwards, 30, all died the same day.

Maylene Frank, 43, a mother of five, who had only started working at the company about two weeks before, Williams and co-worker Malcolm Reid, 22, had survived the crash. However, Frank died on Thursday.

Meanwhile, this newspaper understands that contrary to earlier reports, not everyone in the ill-fated taxi that crashed into a Canter truck on Monday and claimed the lives of eight persons, had died. According to Venus Cozier, 19, a survivor, who is nursing a fractured left shoulder at the Georgetown Hospital, she too was in the car. This would make the number of persons in the taxi, at the time of the accident, nine.

The woman related that she, relatives and friends left Georgetown for Splashmins, at around midday on Monday. One of the cars, the taxi she was in, was driven by Aubrey Phillips. She disclosed that "everyone" had been drinking.

Cozier said that she had gone to the creek with the Budrams, who were her relatives. She recalled that in the car with her were the driver, Phillips, Biphia Budram, her daughter Priyata Budram and son, Suresh Saroop and seven-year-old Joel Hamer. She was unable to say whether Michelle Hinds, 25, an employee of IDS Holdings, her husband Harrinarine Geer and their nine-year-old daughter, Ramona, were in the car also. A police source had confirmed that the last three had been in the car.

Cozier said the cars left the creek at around 1900 hrs and were proceeding around a turn at the Kuru Kururu area. The next thing she knew was waking up in the hospital.

Cozier was unable to confirm reports that the vehicle she was travelling in had been overtaking another when the accident occurred.

Stabroek News was told by a senior police official that investigations were continuing with statements still being taken. He indicated that no one had been charged.

The two accidents were among the latest in a series of road deaths over the past months that have been a cause of much worry for traffic officials. (Leonard Gildarie)

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