SHOCK, grief and disbelief have overtaken three Corentyne communities as three young adults with promising futures lost their lives after a night of fun.
Jessica Gallaway, 20, of David Street Rose Hall Town, Guyana Defence Force member Kwesi Lewis, and Reon Moriah 25, a labourer of Circle Street Corriverton, were all killed after the vehicle in which they were crashed into the rear of a motor lorry on the Whim Public Road, East Berbice Corentyne sometime around 23:30 hours on Sunday night.
The trio, along with the driver identified as Kerron Allder, was in a dark coloured Toyota Allion bearing registration number PWW 582 heading to Rose Hall Town to drop off Gallaway from an event at Alness village on the Corentyne, when the driver ran into the back of a truck that had moments before collided with another car.
According to police reports, at around 23:30 hours, two motor cars PGG 9262 and PWW 582 collided with motor lorry GJJ 5939 as the driver was about to park on the parapet.
Persons recalled hearing a bang and upon investigation they saw a burgundy Toyota Carina bearing registration number PGG 9262 badly mangled on the front right side fender and the driver nursing minor injuries after the vehicle ran into the rear right wheel of the lorry a short distance away from the entrance of the Whim Police Station Street.
As the residents were rendering assistance, the vehicle driven by Allder came crashing into the rear of the lorry. The impact ripped the roof off the car and sent it careening into the nearby trench.
“I was by the truck after the first accident with the burgundy car when next thing is see is a car coming full speed and blam! It crash in the truck back and pitch into the trench. We run over and see the whole car top cut off. We go in the trench and start to help them people but only the driver mek it,” one eyewitness said.
The eyewitness added that it appeared as though the driver fell asleep at the wheel because the hazard (lights) on the truck were on as well as several people were on the road from the earlier collision and he should have noticed them and slowed down or swerved to avoid the collision.
The injured were rushed to the nearby Port Mourant Hospital where the trio was pronounced dead on arrival. Breathalyser tests showed that the drivers of both cars were under the influence of alcohol and above the legal limit, while the driver of the truck tested zero.
The death of the three young adults sent their peers in a state of shock and disbelief while the parents were inconsolable.
Amanda Smalls, the mother of Jessica Gallaway could only muster the strength to reporters that her daughter was with her only the day before.
Family members described the young woman as courageous, ambitious, funny, kind and filled with potential. She was returning from a party that was held at a wash bay in Alness Village, when the tragedy struck.
The mother of Lewis, Tomeika Solomon, said she was reciting her nightly prayers before she retired to bed, asking for protection for her children when she heard her phone vibrating. After she noticed two missed calls from her daughter she feared the worst. Solomon who was in Georgetown caring for her newborn and recovering from a surgery said she left the city immediately after the news was confirmed. The young officer celebrated his 21st birthday on Saturday and was in Berbice for a week. He was due to return to base on Thursday.
“When I see the missed calls I feel it had to be something serious, as I was talking to her I couldn’t understand what she was saying since she was crying. I barely heard Kwesi and his friends in an accident,” the distraught mother said.
She added that she strongly believes the driver fell asleep at the wheel, and that her son was also asleep or he would have cautioned the driver of the hazard lights ahead.
Meanwhile, Patrecia Georgeson, the mother of Moriah said she was too distraught to even enter her home after she returned from viewing her son’s lifeless body. Moriah was the father of a four month old child.
“I don’t even have the strength in my body to move,” she said.
She recalled seeing him at around 13:00 hours when he left to go out and received a call around midnight that her son died.
“When I reached the hospital I saw my son’s dead body full of blood. I couldn’t bear to see that; I just break down,” she said amid tears.
The two men have been friends since high school and were described as promising individuals who were hardworking, smart and caring. Both drivers remain in police custody assisting with the investigation.