Cop killed, other ranks injured in Lethem crash

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Police Inspector, Ian Welch

TRAGEDY struck a party of policemen on patrol on Tuesday afternoon, in Cebtral Rupununi, resulting in the death of a police inspector and injuries to four other ranks.
Dead is 36-year-old Ian Welch, who was recently posted to the division, taking up the post of Second in Charge of the Number 3 Sub Division in the area.

In a statement police said the accident occurred about 17:15h at Rattle Snake Hill,Trail Road ,Central Rupununi. The driver of Force Vehicle PVV662 was Constable Lyzandel Northe. Other ranks in the vehicle were: Corporal Fitzgerald Adolphus, Special Constable Ryan Doris and Rural Constable Chavez Francis. They all sustained minor injuries and have been treated, but are being kept for observation at the Lethem Regional Hospital where Inspector Welch was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police said that an investigation has so far revealed that the ranks were on patrol duty when the vehicle which was proceeding along the trail ,experienced a ‘blow out ‘of its right rear wheel after which the driver reportedly lost control and the vehicle turned-turtle twice before it came to a halt. Inspector Welch who was seated in the front passenger seat sustained severe injuries. Welch, 38, married and of Rose Hall Town, Corentyne,Berbice joined the Force on May 5,1999. He was recently recognised by the Force after being adjudged third placed winner of its Quarterly Essay Competition. His body is presently at hospital‘s mortuary and a post-mortem is expected to be done today.

Following the incident, the inspector was pulled from the wreckage and placed to lie on the roadway which is mainly loom. He was fully dressed in his uniform and appeared to have sustained severe lacerations to the face and other parts of the body. Prior to his posting in ‘F’ Division, Welch worked in ‘B’ Division, where he held supervisory positions at the Rose Hall and Whim Police Stations.

He was subsequently transferred to ‘F’ Division after the removal of a senior officer out of that division after the police launched a probe last year into alleged illegal operations. Welch also served as a tutor for recruits, lecturing on traffic-related matters. Sources within the police ‘F’ Division confirmed that all weapons which the team of policemen went out with on their operation have been accounted for as well as the ammunition.