When Umesh Deonarine’s car crashed into a concrete wall in Claxton Bay on Friday night, his dying moments were recorded and posted on social media. His grieving relatives are appealing for people at accident scenes to use their phones to call for help or render aid, rather than shoot videos for social media.
Deonarine, 40, a customer clerk, was heading home from his workplace at Point Lisas when the accident occurred. According to a police report, at around 8.30 pm, he was driving south along the Southern Main Road in a gold coloured Honda Civic. As he approached the St Margaret’s Junction, Deonarine swerved to avoid hitting a pedestrian who was crossing the road and lost control of the vehicle which crashed into the concrete wall of a poultry depot.
A video which was widely shared on social media showed him slumped in the driver’s seat with the airbag was deployed. He appeared to be unconscious and his legs were crushed under the mangled front of the car. The person recording the accident scene with his phone was heard telling people to call the police and ambulance.
Deonarine died at around 10 pm while being treated at the San Fernando General Hospital. He lived alone at Grants Road, Rousillac.
His cousin, Anil Rattiram, who lived nearby, described him as a jovial, family-oriented man. Rattiram said he was familiar with the area the accident took place and often expressed concern that the poultry depot building had been built too close to the main road.
“Drivers just have to stop and stretch out their hand and collect their chicken,” he said.
Rattiram felt that the video of his cousin’s dying moments was insensitive.
“The person recording the video telling other people to call the ambulance, call the police. He is holding a phone in his hand,” he lamented.
He said during that time his cousin would have been bleeding out due to the injuries to his legs. He believes Deonarine would still be alive be if the ambulance had been called sooner.
“Think of getting help first before recording to go up on social media,” he said.
Deonarine was the cousin of former temporary United National Congress senator Ravi Rattiram.
An autopsy is expected to be performed tomorrow at the Forensic Science Centre in St James. Cpl Richardson of the St Margarets Police Station is investigating.