DESTROYED: Fire officers at the scene of yesterday’s fatal accident on Uriah Butler Highway, Chaguanas, in which Nanda and Mahadeo Ramcharan and their son Nyron died. –Photo: KRISHNA MAHARAJ

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FAMILY TRAGEDY

Father, mother, son killed by garbage truck on Uriah Butler Highway

By \\\\\ Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

A Barrackpore mother, who gave life to her son by donating a kidney four years ago, died along with the child and her husband in an accident yesterday.

Nanda Ramcharan, 36, her husband Mahadeo and their 13-year-old son Nyron were returning home when the incident occurred along the south-bound lane of Uriah Butler Highway, near Endeavour Flyover, Chaguanas, around 1.45 p.m.

The couple had taken their ailing son for dialysis treatment at Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, and were returning to their Ramsabad Trace, Rochard Road, Penal home.

Police said a white Mitsubishi Lancer was proceeding north along the highway when it collided with a blue garbage truck.

The driver of the truck lost control, causing the vehicle to spin out of control. The truck crossed the median and landed on the Ramcharans’ blue Honda Civic.

The couple and their son died on impact.

Police said the truck driver and loader suffered minor injuries and were taken to Chaguanas Health Facility.

The driver of the Lancer escaped unhurt. He was taken into police custody and administered a breathalyser test, police said.

Relatives said Nanda Ramcharan and her 48-year-old husband made the journey to Mt Hope with their second-born son on Tuesdays and Fridays for treatment.

They have two surviving sons, Rikash, 17, and Nigel, 12.

The Express arrived at the family’s home as they received news of the accident yesterday. The sons screamed out for their parents and brother.

Rikash Ramcharan had to be supported by his cousins.

Nanda Ramcharan’s sister, Marilyn Sundar-Rampersad, said, “My son, Cruz, got married this weekend and today was supposed to be the final rites when we throw all the things used in the ceremony in the sea. We were preparing for this. Nanda said she would come back around 2 p.m.

“My sister from Couva, Davica, just came and asked for Nanda. We tried calling her phone to see what time she will come, but there was no answer. We called my brother-in-law’s phone, but a strange man answered and she hang up. We thought it was the wrong number. Then two people just came and said they heard someone from Ramsabad Trace died in an accident. Then my niece called and said she saw the accident on Facebook. The story had my brother-in-law’s name.”

Sundar-Rampersad cried as she recalled how her sister stopped at her home before going to Mt Hope yesterday.

“She came to pick up some sweets from the wedding to take for the nurses in the hospital. I told her to be careful on the highway. She said today was a holiday and it would not be busy. Her husband even asked if she was sure they would do the treatment today as it was a holiday. She said the only day they don’t do treatment was on Christmas (Day),” she said.

Mahadeo Ramcharan was employed as a supervisor in the Accident and Emergency Department at San Fernando General Hospital, relatives said.

His wife was not employed, as she chose to remain at home and care for her boys.

Sundar-Rampersad said little Nyron was unable to write the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination in May as he was unwell.

“But the Ministry of Education placed him at the Barrackpore East Secondary School, where his brother attended,” she said.

Sundar-Rampersad said her sister, brother-in-law and Nyron were full of life and energy at her son’s wedding on Sunday.

“My sister was involved in everything. I asked her to do most of the things because our husbands are cousins. She was the pooah (Hindi for father’s elder sister) in the wedding and she parched the lawa (a tradition in a Hindu wedding).”

But what haunted the close-knit family was a dream Ramcharan (Nanda) shared with them last week Sunday.

Ramcharan told her sisters that she dreamt of a snake and she was screaming.

She said, in the dream, she went to her sister-in-law’s house next door and saw three graves.

“And when she asked why they had three graves her sister-in-law said it was because her son was minding three snakes,” she said.

Sundar-Rampersad said the next day her sister opened her front door and a large snake fell in front of her.

“It was so strange because my sister said she don’t really dream.”

Relatives said Nyron was not feeling well yesterday and asked his parents to stay at home.

“But he had to go for treatment,” his aunt Davica Ramoutar said.

“My sister gave her life for her children, especially Nyron. He was her life. She gave him her kidney so he could live. That kidney failed on him and now he was doing transfusion. He went through that kidney operation and two thyroid operations and survive that,” she cried.

Ramoutar promised that she would care for her two nephews.

“I will take them and care for them. They are my children now,” she cried.

Police Service public information officer Insp Wayne Mystar was at the scene of the crash yesterday.

“Again, we want to let members of the public know that speed and indiscriminate driving are the cause of accidents on the road. Please adhere to the traffic laws and obey the speed limit and do not drink and drive,” he said.                              

with reporting by Krishna Maharaj                    

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