mother of crash victim Vishal Maharaj, 17

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Two die: thrown from pick-up tray

By Alexander Bruzual

A 17-year-old boy, and a 20-year-old man, are among three who were killed in motor vehicular accidents over the weekend.
In the latest incident, police reported that at about 3 a.m. on Sunday, a white Toyota Hilux motor vehicle with seven occupants, was proceeding west along the Audrey Jeffers Highway. Police sources explained that five of the young men were in the cabin of the vehicle, while the other two, Vishal Maharaj, 17, of Paul Augustus Road, Chin Chin Road, Cunupia, and Sunil Sahadeo, 20, of Second Avenue, Latchman Gardens, Cunupia, were in the tray of the pick up truck.
Upon reaching the vicinity of the Peakes One Stop Service Station, Kalim Ali, the driver of the vehicle, told police that he received a “bad drive” from another motorist, and while trying to avoid a collision, he lost control of the pick up truck. The vehicle slammed into the concrete barrier along the highway, before spinning out of control. Both Maharaj and Sahadeo were thrown from the tray of the pick-up and landed violently onto the roadway.
They both died on the scene.
Motorists who witnessed the accident stopped to render assistance, and the police, as well as the emergency health services were notified. The five other young men who were in the cabin of the pick-up truck were all rushed to the Port of Spain General Hospital where they were treated for various injuries.
Speaking to the Express yesterday at her Paul Augustus Road home, Maharaj’s mother Sita was brought to tears on several occasions as she spoke about her youngest son.
“Why was he on the tray? That wasn’t right. He know that he shouldn’t have done that. It have a man who lives in the area here who right now is in a wheelchair because he was once travelling in the back of a van. We have spoken to Vishal on that so he knew it was wrong, so I keep asking myself why was he there? If he wasn’t in the tray, he may still be with us today,” Sita Maharaj explained.
The grieving mother noted that her son was last enrolled at the Vishnu Boys Hindu College along the Southern Main Road.
Sita Maharaj said she had last saw her son on Saturday night when he told her that he was going to the Zen nightclub along Keate Street, Port of Spain, with his cousins. She said after they left the nightclub, the group had decided to go to “another lime” in Carenage.
She described her son was a kind and loving person, who would be greatly missed by all who knew him.
“He was such a loving child. He used to come and hug me up on an evening, and used to tell me, mami, I love you. For a 17-year-old he was very playful. He used to tell me, mami you wouldn’t get this when I get a girlfriend eh, so take all this love right now,” Sita Maharaj recalled with tears in her eyes.
“Right now, I am hurting. It is my child, and it hurts so much to have lost him. It hurts so much to know that I will never see him running about this yard or playing with his cousins, or coming to trouble me, I have no words to describe how I am feeling,” Maharaj said.
A short distance away, relatives of Sahadeo were preparing their home for the wake when the Express arrived at their Second Avenue, Latchman Gardens, Cunupia, home.
Sahadeo’s brother, Shankar Sahadeo said that Sunil was the youngest of 11 children, and he was a kind and caring young man who loved to lime with his friends and his family.
“You see that boy,” joked Shankar Sahadeo,”he liked to lime plenty. He never get in any trouble or anything like that. He was a quiet one. But oh lawd he like to lime. Last night (Saturday) he said he was going Zen, and then after that, like they decided to go to another lime that was in Carenage.
“How he get on that tray, I will never understand. That was the first time in all these years that I know him that I hear him doing anything like that. He was a man who loved his image na. He was always in the best of brands, always neat and well kept. So I find the fact that he would get into the tray of a van so strange. But it was done, and right now, everyone in this family mash up. Everyone feeling down. We all lost someone we loved, and it is a hurtful thing,” Shankar Sahadeo said.
Western Division Police are continuing investigations.
About 12-hours earlier, a 30-year-old man from Maznanilla was also killed in a motor vehicular accident when the car he was driving slammed into a coconut tree along the Manzanilla/Mayaro Road.
Police reported that at about 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sean Bennette, was driving his vehicle along the Manzanilla\Mayaro Road, when upon reaching the vicinity of the 81-mile mark, he lost control of his car. The vehicle veered off-road, and slammed into a coconut tree.
Bennette, police said, was killed on impact.
Motorists who witnessed the accident notified the police and emergency health services, and a party of officers including Sgt Samaroo, and Cpl Gildhaire, along with officials from the Sangre Grande Fire Station, visited the scene.
Sgt Samaroo of Mayaro police is continuing enquiries.
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