GEA fuel in­spec­tor haunted by fa­tal Zorg ac­ci­dent

Stabroek News Sunday - - LETTERS -

Doneeta Ram­lakhan, the young Guyana En­ergy Agency (GEA) fuel in­spec­tor who sur­vived the Zorg Pub­lic Road ac­ci­dent that claimed the life of her co-worker last Wed­nes­day morn­ing, is now haunted by the events, which she says re­main vividly in her mem­ory.

Her co-worker, Shankar Ram, called ‘Kevin’, 25, was the driver of the GEA ve­hi­cle, in which Ram­lakhan, also known as ‘Var­sha,’ 23, was trav­el­ling at the time of the ac­ci­dent. He re­port­edly died on spot.

Ram­lakhan ex­plained that late last month she and Ram trav­elled to Esse­quibo, where they were sta­tioned at the GEA, Golden Fleece base. She said they were sched­uled to re­turn to Ge­orge­town on Tues­day.

At the time of the ac­ci­dent, Ram­lakhan said they had just vis­ited a friend, where they spent the even­ing and they were re­turn­ing to the Golden Fleece base.

“You know we fin­ish work early that day (Tues­day) and we were gaffing and laugh­ing in the af­ter­noon…we went and get din­ner and we stop at a friend, who live in Esse­quibo. I am not sure about the vil­lage name but we were there most of the night. We were talk­ing and gaffing and then it was pretty late so I told him that I am tired so we should prob­a­bly get go­ing,” Ram­lakhan re­lated.

She said while she can­not say what time she and Ram left the friend’s place, she is sure it was very late as she was very sleepy.

“Usu­ally when I am in the ve­hi­cle, I would throw down the front seat to lay down in­side and I would have on my seat belt”, Ram­lakhan said. She fur­ther ex­plained, “Whilst we were go­ing I was in a [semi]-con­scious state and I barely heard him say­ing “brakes.” It’s like I heard him say­ing that but I am not sure….”

She said that when she heard the ve­hi­cle sw­erve, she at­tempted to put her seat back upright.

“By the time I could even get up, we al­ready hit some­thing, I don’t know what it is we hit but I just heard this loud thing and I got black out af­ter that,” Ram­lakhan re­called.

Ram­lakhan sus­tained mostly head in­juries as a re­sult of the ac­ci­dent. She dis­charged her­self from the hos­pi­tal last Thurs­day. She is cur­rently re­cu­per­at­ing at home and noted that she is still ex­pe­ri­enc­ing swelling to the neck as well as pain in her head and ears.

“I just wish it never hap­pen… he left us in shock… that’s some­thing I would al­ways re­mem­ber,” a weep­ing Ram­lakhan re­lated.

She said when she woke up around 7 am the morn­ing af­ter the ac­ci­dent, she was in the hos­pi­tal, where a nurse told her that she had fallen. “Then I saw some­body (a vis­i­tor) there and I asked them what hap­pened and then they told me that…we had an ac­ci­dent and then I asked them where is Shankar and they said that he didn’t make it,” she cried.

Ram­lakhan said dur­ing the drive back to the GEA Golden Fleece base, she and Ram were not in con­ver­sa­tion since she was sleepy and was “in and out of short naps.” How­ever, she de­clared that Ram was not drunk.

The po­lice had said that Ram was trav­el­ling north along the western side of the Zorg Pub­lic Road, Esse­quibo Coast, when he lost con­trol and hit a util­ity pole at around 12.15 am on Wed­nes­day.

The im­pact of the col­li­sion caused the ve­hi­cle to flip over, and Ram was re­port­edly flung out and onto the para­pet, while Ram­lakhan re­mained trapped in­side, the po­lice had added.

Ram re­mained on the road un­til the ac­ci­dent was dis­cov­ered by pa­trolling po­lice ranks. They were both picked up and rushed to the Sud­die Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, where Ram was pro­nounced dead on ar­rival. Ram­lakhan was hos­pi­talised at the said in­sti­tu­tion.

An au­topsy on Fri­day con­firmed that Ram died as a re­sult of mul­ti­ple in­juries as a re­sult of the ac­ci­dent.

Ram­lakhan said the ac­ci­dent is all she has thought about since she re­gained con­scious­ness. She be­lieves that it will re­main with her for the rest of her life. “I…wish I could have done some­thing,” she cried.

She re­lated that she had known Ram for over a year and they shared a very close re­la­tion­ship since they would reg­u­larly travel out of town reg­u­larly as part of their job.

“He [was] al­ways full of his self, al­ways telling you we will work to­day, make sure we get ev­ery­thing in or­der. He al­ways just funny. Just like make trou­ble and a re­ally nice per­son. We never had no ar­gu­ment, noth­ing,” Ram­lakhan re­called.

The GEA, in a press re­lease is­sued last Wed­nes­day, said Ram was an em­ployee of the Agency since June, 2013. Dead: Shankar Ram

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