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Deadly Coverden collision: Truck driver pleads not guilty

Rupesh Bhagwandin being escorted from the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courthouse, Middle Street, Georgetown

A truck driver on Thursday pleaded not guilty to causing the death of four persons when he collided with a Mahdia-bound minibus on the Coverden Public Road, East Bank Demerara.

20-year old Rupesh Bhagwandin of Lot 12 Hope, East Bank Demerara has to return to court on November 15 by which time the prosecution is expected to submit statements.

Chief Magistrate, Priya Sewnarine-Beharry refused him bail after hearing brief arguments by the Prosecutor.

Bhagwandin is accused of driving truck, GPP 8495 in a dangerous manner resulting in the deaths of passengers Loretta Evans, Delroy Evans, Phulmattie Samaroo and minibus driver, Felix Marc.

The prosecutor told the court that Bhagwandin was driving at a “very fast rate of speed” north along the western carriageway of the Coverden, East Bank Demerara Public Road when he overtook a parked lorry.

The prosecutor further related that the minibus driver tried to swerve to avoid a collision but the truck collided to the right side of the bus that was travelling south along the eastern carriageway.

Marc and one passenger who was sitting immediately behind him died on the spot and two others died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

The prosecutor objected to bail based on the prevalence and seriousness of the offence, the penalty it will attract and the likelihood of the defendant not attending court. Bhagwandin told the court that he had no trouble with the law before.