THE Linden community was Saturday plunged into a state of mourning after news circulated that two young brothers, one a medical student and the other an aeronautical engineer, were killed in an accident.
Dead are Jonnel and Phillip Armstrong, sons of Region 10 Regional Health Officer Pansy Armstrong and veteran dentist Joseph Armstrong. Their sister is attorney-at-law Tammy Khan, the wife of the Director of Public Information Imran Khan.
In a message on Facebook, the Khans stated: “We are broken but we will heal.”
“We do not know how else to beg of you, but please slow down and take care on our roadways,” they added.
The brothers, who were both in their 20s, were at the time heading to Linden in their Toyota Rav 4 when it collided with a truck at Friendship, East Bank Demerara.
The two brothers reportedly died instantly, while a friend who was also in the vehicle is said to be critical at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
Phillip Armstrong, a medical student, was involved in a serious accident in 2013 but recovered after months. Jonnelle Armstrong, who was an aeronautical engineer,has left to mourn his wife Olesa and a baby girl.
This newspaper understands that the boys were heading to Linden to assist their mother with some reconstruction of their Watooka home.
The boys were described as well-respected and mannerly by most Lindeners who took to social media to express sympathy over their deaths.
Their mother Pansay and other relatives, including their only sister, were too distraught to speak to the media.
Police said that the accident occurred Saturday afternoon about 14:00hrs, when there was a collision between a Toyota Rav4 PLL 9830 and a truck GNN 5355.
The Armstrongs were heading south and the truck was travelling in the opposite direction when they collided in the vicinity of a turn at Friendship, East Bank Demerara.
Police also noted that there were three passengers in the vehicle and one brother was sitting directly behind the other when the accident occurred. The other person in the front passenger seat was listed as critical. The driver of the truck is in police custody assisting with the investigation.
Residents of Friendship told this publication that, that specific accident site has multiple holes on the roadway and there are bushes in the area that blind drivers to oncoming traffic.
“Somebody needs to be placed in charge of looking after simple things like this; you can’t wait until somebody dead in order to start fixing things.
“What type of foolishness we going on with in this country?” one driver and resident of the area asserted.
The accident, which brings the number of road deaths to 102 for the year, came two weeks after the Guyana Police Force launched Operation Safeway, a major campaign to curb the high incidence of road accidents.
“We are going to have an increase in traffic patrols by day and night, we will have the reintroduction of spotting exercises, we will have an increased deployment in black spots (the cluster where there are fatal accidents), we will have random breathalyzer testing,” Police Commissioner (ag) David Ramnarine had announced at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary, on September 14.
Ramnarine said “Operation Safeway” will restore much-needed road safety consciousness with the ultimate goal of minimising the number of accidents.
On the day the campaign was launched, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo had issued a statement calling for safe use of the roadways.
“The carnage on our roads leaves so many persons in pain and agony. Mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands and other relatives, friends, neighbours, classmates and work colleagues are all emotionally distressed by the needless loss of life,” Mr Nagamootoo had stated.