At 11:11am yesterday, residents of Fairfield, Mahaicony, West Coast Berbice heard a loud crash. No one was prepared for the gruesome scene they were about to witness.
The beverage truck
The broken beer bottles being removed from the roadway
A closer look at the mangled bus
As persons stepped out of their homes and businesses, they were confronted with bodies strewn across the public road; some hurt and screaming in pain, blood, wreckage and mangled body parts lying on the roadway. A smashed bus and beverage truck metres apart from each other, with hundreds of broken beer bottles strewn on the ground.
Five persons were killed when the bus in which they were travelling smashed into the beer-laden vehicle.Dead are 33-year-old Keon Sealy, a registered Nurse Anaesthetist attached to the Mahaicony Cottage Hospital; 31-year-old Alana Vaughn, a Medex, who was pregnant; driver of the minibus Seechan Lall Chandilall; 76-year-old Maxwell Disreali Thom and 64-year-old Ewart Reynolds.
Vaughn was reportedly expecting her third child.
Those seriously injured were identified as 46-year-old Cecil Gordon of Farm, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara (ECD); 60-year-old David Jacobs and 15-year-old Angela Jacobs both of Moraikobai, Mahaicony, ECD; and also the driver of the lorry Shurlan Wills. They were all rushed to Mahaicony Cottage Hospital and later transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital. Up to press time, their conditions were listed as critical.
Dead: Alana Vaughn
Dead: Driver of the minibus Seechan Lall Chandilall
Dead: Keon Sealy
An injured passenger from the bus sitting on the road moments after the accident
Kaieteur News was told by eyewitnesses at the scene that four of the victims were already dead at the scene, while one died en route to the hospital.
According to a police report, the bus was proceeding west along the southern side of the public road when it experienced a ‘blow-out’ of the left side rear wheel. The driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle and collided into the left front portion of the lorry that was proceeding in the opposite direction.
Traffic Chief Linden Isles when contacted disclosed that the bus was said to be travelling at a fast rate when a blow out occurred.
Sources said the lorry was heading to the Banks DIH New Amsterdam branch and was packed with over $3M worth in Banks Beer.
As a result of the crash, the beer cases spilled on to the road causing a temporary halt in the flow of traffic. Police, with the assistance of public-spirited residents, spent hours clearing away the broken debris to allow vehicles to pass.
It was only on November 30 that four persons were killed in a gruesome crash on the Nismes Public road while five were killed in the October 15 Friendship smash up just mere weeks apart.
This gruesome crash comes only one day after the Commissioner of Police, Leslie James announced the launch of ‘Operation Safe Roads’ – implemented to address the recklessness seen over the past months on Guyana’s roadways.
The Commissioner pleaded with the general populace to “adjust their attitudes” and exercise caution when using the roadways.