President, Cabinet extend condolences to the parents of Austin Lashley

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Dear Mr. and Mrs. Lashley,
THIS is to offer you both the condolences of our President, His Excellency Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, myself and the entire Cabinet on the sad occasion of the tragic passing of your son Austin. The President was very saddened as he read about the accident later that morning on his way to Norway for a conference.

Particularly regrettable, was that this tragic and fatal accident took place just after Mrs. Lashley and Austin had left the joyous, celebratory event of the annual Flag Raising Ceremony in observance of Guyana’s Forty-Fourth Anniversary of its independence. The exuberant participation of children of Austin’s and Alana’s age provided much of the entertainment we all enjoyed.
That Mrs. Lashley chose to take the children to be a part of a national historic event speaks volumes of her patriotism, pride and love for being Guyanese, values she obviously wishes to inculcate in her children. I know it would be a challenge for you, Mrs. Lashley, especially as a mother, to take some solace in the fact that your last act for Austin was one which succeeded in making him pleased and happy. May this memory, along with the many other special moments together as family, fortify you in this difficult period.
The Government, through the police Force, is committed to executing programmes to greatly reduce the incident of traffic accidents in our country. On some counts our accident rate in Guyana is about fifty times what it is today in the United States, about the same level in the USA seventy years ago when they began working to reduce their accident rate. Our Government is putting in place measures to combat a number of the major contributors to our high accident level- speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs and driving while using a cell phone.
Even though we need to and will further improve our roads and traffic management, we can greatly reduce our accident rates if as good citizens we were to become more disciplined, courteous and considerate of other road users and of citizens generally. The loss of your son is again a reminder to us of our duty to protect our children and citizens. We must raise greatly our care and concern for others in all we do.
Please be assured of my personal solidarity with you and other grieving family members, relatives and friends at this time. I wish you, Alana and Ackette a speedy recovery and I am confident that little Austin’s innocent soul will rest in peace.
May God grant you comfort and inner strength at this time.