Horrific De Willem accident: “He tell me ‘sorry’. Wah sorry can do?” – mother calls for justice

…“they don’t have respect for the road” – brother on reckless drivers

By: Devina Samaroo and Amar Persaud

The parents of 22-year-old Carlito Gobin – the youngest of the three men who were killed last evening in the tragic accident at De Willem, West Coast Demerara (WCD) – are struggling to come to grips with the manner in which their child lost his life.
Gobin, who would have celebrated his 23rd birthday this Thursday, died on the spot after he was struck down by a speeding motor car driven by an 18-year-old.

Dead: 22-year-old Carlito Gobin

The teen driver was reportedly racing with another motor car when he lost control of his vehicle and slammed into three bystanders outside of the Sharmilla Harikissoon Sports Bar.
Gobin, who worked at the bar for the past four years, had gone outside to purchase and eat a hotdog when the incident occurred.
Upon receiving news of the accident, the young man’s mother, Hamimoonnall Gobin rushed to the scene where the teen driver began apologising for the chaos he had caused. “He tell me ‘sorry’. Wah sorry can do? Sorry can’t do nothing. Sorry can’t bring back me son,” the grieving mother argued. The woman contended that the teen driver and his family will have to pay for the suffering they have caused.

Dead: Kiran Rampersaud

“We need justice for my son,” the mother cried.
Imran Ali, the young man’s father, was at work at Republic Park, East Bank Demerara (EBD), when he received news of the accident. He works as a security guard.
“I was working and I started crying. I run out from till at the back of Republic Park till to the [Demerara Harbour] Bridge just fuh get a vehicle to meet home. When I meet, I couldn’t see he, they did done gone with he…I only saw a photo with the brains on the ground… that’s one thing that can’t come out me head, that photo with he on the ground,” the father cried.
“He head split into two, foot broken, hand broken, ribs broken, he dead on the spot,” the father bemoaned.
“I heard they were sitting down eating a hotdog when this car come and hit him in the air and he fall till by the pharmacy…he pelt the furthest…I need justice for my son… he was sitting down when he get hit down budday, he was sitting down eating. He ain’t even get fuh eat he hotdog and he get hit down and dead,” the father cried.

Brother, Bisham Rampersaud

Gobin was one of seven children. The family, who currently resides at De Willem, lived in Venezuela for some time and had returned to Guyana in 2012.
The father recalled that his son was a miracle baby. “He was a seven-month born child…he was deaf and dumb…and we bring he in 2012 in Guyana to look after he ears, then he start talk lil bit and he talking funny, not any and everybody understand he…he was a quiet and an easy, easy banna. He don’t mix and mingle fuh mek problem,” the father explained.
The parents pleaded with road users, especially drivers, to be more cautious on the roadways. “I’m begging them to take their time on the road…is three persons kill one time, nah one, is three,” the father posited.
Meanwhile, the young man’s mother is also a hotdog vendor within the vicinity of the sports bar where the accident occurred. The woman said it will be difficult to continue plying her trade in that area.
The other two persons killed in the accident are 46-year-old Kiran Rampersaud, a fisherman of Zeeburg, WCD; and 44-year-old Ayube Mohamed, also a fisherman of Meten-Meer-Zorg, WCD.
Reports are that the 18-year-old driver and another vehicle were racing along the public road when the young man lost control of the motor car, crashed into a vehicle that was parked outside of the bar and then slammed into the bystanders.
Two other persons were struck down during the incident and they are currently being treated for their injuries.
The teen driver also received injuries about his body and is currently receiving medical attention under Police guard.

Reckless use of roadways
Bisham Rampersaud, the brother of 46-year-old Kiran Rampersaud, has bemoaned the continued reckless use of the country’s roadways by young drivers.
Rampersaud also known as “Rocky”, a fisherman of Zeeburg, WCD, was standing outside of the Sharmilla Harikissoon Sports Bar when he was struck down and killed by the speeding motor car driven by the 18-year-old lad.
“Them guys that a buy car, buy them book with the car; and them too young to drive pon road…they don’t have respect for the road man…nothing more I can say,” the brother lamented.
“All them big ‘boom boom’ set wah deh in the car and so, them [Police] should get them out. When that play, you can’t concentrate anyway; none time, at nowhere,” he contended.
Rampersaud was previously married and is said to be a father of one; however, he no longer lives with his family.
Upon receiving news of the accident, the man rushed to the scene to find his brother’s body on the roadway, covered under a sheet.
“I heard some neighbours start call…they said that they hear accident pass on the road, that was 22:10h and abey jumped in a car, we go there and there was a whole set of traffic jam and so.”
“I jumped out of the car, I run to the scene, I see a bedsheet cover the guy, the policeman said ‘you can’t see him’; I said ‘to hell with you this is my brother’ and I removed the sheet, I see is Rocky,” the brother recalled.
The brother described the now dead man as a “very easy going” person. “He nah quarrel with anybody, he very quiet, he nah got enemy, nothing like ah enemy, if you tell he something, he gone walk away.”
Rampersaud is a distant relative of 44-year-old Ayube Mohammed of Meten-Meer-Zorg, WCD – another of the accident victims.

Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn has since expressed concerns over the continued reckless usage of the country’s roadways, particularly by “young male” drivers.
According to the Home Affairs Minister, the country had a “successful year” in 2021 as it relates to road fatalities, with a 29 per cent reduction.

But based on the statistics so far this year, Minister Benn said “we appear to have already be in trouble at the rate we’re going”.
Only a few days ago, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill issued a statement expressing concerns at the alarming rate of road fatalities for the year.
For the year 2021, 99 persons were killed when compared with 139 persons for 2020. The 2021 results showed a 29 per cent reduction when compared to 2020.
The “vulnerable class” of road users (pedal cyclists, motor cyclists and pedestrians) accounted for 67.7 per cent of the total deaths in 2021 while in 2020, they accounted for 79.9 per cent of the total deaths.
Minister Edghill had disclosed that from the data retrieved from the Guyana Police Force (GPF), it was found that pedal and motor cyclists combined accounted for 37.4 per cent of the deaths in 2021 and 56.1 per cent in 2020.
Comparative data has shown that as of March 3, 2022, 15 persons were killed on the roadways, as a result of 14 accidents, when compared with the same period for 2021, when 20 persons died from 19 accidents.
“What is significantly alarming, is that in 2021, 14 of the 20 persons killed at that period were the most vulnerable classes of road users (two pedal cyclists, eight motor cyclists and four pedestrians). While at March 3, 2022, of the 15 killed, the vulnerable classes accounted for seven (two pedal cyclists, three motor cyclists, two pedestrians),” Minister Edghill had noted.
The Government official noted too that he and his Cabinet colleagues will relook at the current laws and examine ways in which they can ensure “stricter controls, be it the training/re-training of drivers/riders, higher fines or stiffer penalties and a studied approach for the introduction of a demerit system.”