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PM visits family of highway crash victims

Saturday, August 2, 2014
Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, centre, prays with orphan brothers Rikash Ramcharan, left, and Nigel during her visit to their home at Rochard Road, Penal on Thursday. The brothers lost their parents and brother in an accident along the Uriah Butler Highway on Tuesday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

A spiderman towel, a cap and his favourite toy are among the things which will be placed in the casket of 13-year-old Nyron Ramcharan today at his Rochard Road, Penal home.

A song that he and his parents—Nanda, 36, and Mahadeo Ramcharan, 47—loved will also be played during their funeral service under Hindu rites. 

All three were killed in an accident on Tuesday.

Nanda’s elder sister Marilyn Sundar-Rampersad said the mother and son would arrive in one hearse while Mahadeo in another, but all the caskets would be placed side by side. 

Nyron and his parents will then be cremated in one pyre at the Shore of Peace at Mosquito Creek.

The tragedy touched the hearts of many, including Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who visited Nyron’s two siblings Rikash, 17, and Nigel, 12, and other relatives at their Ramsabad Trace home on Thursday evening.

Pledging her government’s support to the family, Persad-Bissessar held the children’s hands as she tried to comfort them.

She said: “I am not happy to be here..I would have been happy if I came for something other than why I am here this evening. So I do not share your happinesss minister, that my presence here came about because of the tragedy for his family.”

She was referring to Moruga/Tableland MP Clifton De Coteau who, in his welcoming remarks, expressed happiness for the visit.

Persad-Bissessar said her purpose of her visit was to share in the family’s grief, but at a time like this there is little words of comfort I can share.”

The Prime Minister asked family and friends to give all their support to the surviving children. “We will do all we can to help them. I know my office has already been in touch with them and they have been making certain arrangements...but all of us will now have to close and bond together to give these two main children all the support.” 

Saying the children were blessed since they had a big family, she urged relatives to guide the children in the right way. 

She also encouraged the children to move forward, study hard and honour their parents. 

“Your parents will want you to grow and be strong and do well and if you are to honour your parents and show your love for them, because they will know, then you are to continue to be strong and work hard and do well. You have to continue for the sake of your parents because you are all that they have left here.”

Expressing thanks for Persad-Bissessar, her government and all the other support they have received were Sundar-Rampersad, one of Nanda’s six surviving sisters and Harricharan Cassie, state counsel with the Customs and Excise Division. Cassie said their pain will never be erased.

Describing Nyron as an angel loved by all and his parents as loving people, Sundar-Rampersad said they would never be replaced.

Before leaving, the Prime Minister spent a few minutes speaking privately with Rikash, Nigel, their grandmother Bernadette Sundar and other family members.


...promises better safety measures on highways

Tenders have gone out for barrier cable installation project along the nation’s highways, said Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

She was responding to concerns by Arrive Alive president Sharon Inglefield who questioned whether enough was being done to prevent cross-over collisions.

On Tuesday Mahadeo Ramcharan, 48, his wife, Nanda, 36, and their 13-year-old son, Nyron, were killed along the Uriah Butler Highway, near Endeavor Flyover, Chaguanas.

A garbage truck spun out of control, after being hit by a white Lancer, crossed the median and landed on top the family’s car, crushing them. The driver of the lancer was detained by police, but has since been released pending further inquires.

Questioned by the media during her visit to bereaved relatives at Ramsabad Trace, Rochard Road, Penal on Thursday evening, Persad-Bissessar said the question about the barrier’s installation programme was posed to Works and Infrastructure Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan in Parliament.

“The minister said there were three tenders at the moment so that is in train for further work with respect to the barriers.” Asked how long it would take, “I would ask you to speak to Minister Surujrattan because that is his line ministry but we did ask him today.”

With regards to the speed guns for the police, she said the law was only passed a few days ago and it has to go to President Anthony Carmona to sign off. “Thereafter we will work on it very swiftly.”

Commenting on the release of the driver of the white Lancer, Nanda’s sister Marilyn Sundar-Rampersad said the family was not blaming anyone.

She said their focus was on today’s funeral service at the house of mourning and thereafter the well-being of the two surviving children, Rikash, 17, and Nigel, 12.

“So right at this point we are not accusing anyone. We are not pointing fingers at anyone. We just have to deal with one thing at a time,” the Prime Minister said.

She thanked BK Holdings, the owner of the garbage truck in the accident, for their support.

She said the Penal Debe Regional Corporation had also organised a police escort from the house to the Shore of Peace, Mosquito Creek, South Oropouche where the parents and their son will be cremated on a single pyre.

Mahadeo Ramcharan, employed as a medical orderly supervisor at the South West Regional Health Authority, and was returning home with his wife and son after taking his son for dialysis treatment at the Mt Hope Hospital. 

Four years ago Nyron’s mother had saved his life after giving him one of her kidneys. (SW)


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