This article was first created on the 6th of October, 2014 and last updated on the 17th of April, 2016 by Patrick Carpen.
I haven’t witnessed a great number of accidents in my life – thank God for that. Last night one happened right in front of my eyes. Well, sort of.
I was sitting on the front porch of the Takutu Hotel in Lethem, Guyana, eating an ice-cream, when I saw two cars slam into each other head-on. Then I heard human screams coming from the cars. The cars were moving relatively fast, and judging from the enormous noise produced by the collision, I figured that the accident would be a very serious one.
I ran into the hotel, picked up the telephone and dialed 911. A man answered who seemed to have problems hearing and understanding me, but I spoke clearly and calmly, “there has been a very serious accident in front of Takutu Hotel. Please send an ambulance right now”.
The man responded that I am on to the police station and for an ambulance, I needed to call the hospital. I asked him if he knew the hospital’s number and he said no.
I said “OK sir”, put the phone down and ran outside to see what assistance I could render.
The white car was smoking and someone was shouting that the car was “catching fire”. They shouted for water, and I noticed a woman in the back seat of the other car, visibly injured. I ran to the woman and lifted her out of the car.
I started looking for a vehicle to transport her to the hospital. She was unable to walk and blood was coming from the side of one of her eyes. Some of the people started to murmur “like dem na see dis one, like dem na see this wan”.
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I was outraged. I said “just shut up and help me find a car to take this woman to the hospital”. I saw some cars across the road. I asked a young boy standing nearby to go ask them to give me a lift to the hospital. Some other vehicles passed nearby and I shouted for them to give us a ride to the hospital. They didn’t respond. The car at the other side of the road drove away.
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I didn’t give up. I walked a few feet away and saw a Hilux 4-wheel drive vehicle. In the driver’s seat was a woman I knew from church. I asked her to give us a ride to the hospital and she pulled over right away. As she opened the door, someone from the side of the road gestured “don’t put her in front, put her in the back, because she will stain the seat with blood”. I wanted to turn around and kick that person. Will we really trade a clean seat for a human life? I hesitated. I looked at the driver’s face. I could sense that she would like her seat to stay clean. I moved to the back. I shouted “someone open the tray for me”. A man opened the tray, but just then a white car pulled up and told me to get in. I put the lady in the back seat, got in, and the car sped away to the hospital.
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When we arrived at the hospital, the staff there were quick in responding with a wheel chair and stretcher, and to take the woman into intensive care.
I came back to the hotel with the driver, drank a tin of grape juice and walked to the nearby church service, as I usually do on Sunday nights.
I am still to find out the details of the casualties of the accidents, and if there were any fatalities.
Update: There were no fatalities from the accident and all persons taken to the hospital were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and sent home.