Hours after they dropped their three-year-old daughter at a babysitter so they could have a night of fun, a young couple died when their vehicle ran off the SS Erin Road in Debe and crashed into an electricity pole yesterday. Police said Prakesh Sookbir, 25, and his wife Michelle Ramdeen-Sookbir, 23, of Chester Street, Debe, died shortly after 1 am, as they headed home after a night of partying. Sookbir was driving a black Toyota pick-up north along the road when, upon reaching Ramai Trace, he attempted to overtake an oncoming car. He lost control of the van which slammed into the pole, before hitting a concrete wall.
Michelle was pitched through the windscreen, while Sookbir was trapped inside the van. Within minutes, they were both dead, police said. At the family's home yesterday, Sookbir's mother Zalina was still in a state of shock. Sitting on a chair with her eyes downcast, Zalina said she still could not believe that her son and daughter-in-law were dead. She said they left the house around 1 pm on Tuesday, to attend a bikini and car wash fete in Debe. Around 5 pm, Zalina said, they dropped off their baby Shivani by Diane Ali, Sookbir's sister, who agreed to babysit. They then went to Dip's Bar to lime. Zalina said Sookbir did not drink alcohol regularly and worked as a joiner at home, building furniture. "He was a nice person, always cheerful...He was really friendly with everyone," Zalina wept.
She said Michelle was a full-time mother who was committed to caring for her child. The couple was looking forward to celebrating Shivani's birthday in November. When they got news of the accident, Zalina said she opted not to go to the scene. "I could not see my child lying there...I stayed at home with the baby," she said. "I did not realise that they were dead until the police told us." Police said autopsies were expected to be done on the bodies yesterday. The wrecked vehicle was removed to the Debe Police Station. Cpl Kirton Rodriquez and PC Selwyn Griffith are continuing investigations.