Truck driver guilty of causing death of cyclist

Last Updated on Monday, 31 October 2016, 21:26 by Denis Chabrol

Truck driver Roopnarine Hardiwar, who was on trial for killing a pedal cyclist, was Monday sentenced to three years in prison after the Chief Magistrate, Ann Mc Lennan relied on the scientific evidence presented instead of inconsistent accounts by several witnesses.

Hardiwar appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on Monday, where he was told that the court finds sufficient circumstantial evidence that he drove in such a way as to cause the death of Ramdoolar Dhanraj, called ‘Eddie’.

It was alleged that on November 15, 2014, on Pearl Public Road, the father of one drove motor lorry GPP 9557 in a manner dangerous to the public, thereby causing the death of Eddie.

When the matter was called on September 29 of this year, Hardiwar gave an unsworn statement in which he maintained that he was not driving in a reckless manner.

After the accident took place, police had said tested the accused with a breathalyzer and found him to be over the legal limit in relation to the consumption of alcohol.

In his statement, Hardiwar had recalled that on the day of the accident he was journeying along the Pearl Public Road, and was about to go around a bend, when he saw a pedal cyclist coming from the western direction.

The accused stated that he applied the brakes and blew his horn but the cyclist kept going east, and this resulted in a collision. He had related that the cyclist collided with the driver’s side of the vehicle, causing him to lose control and ending up in a nearby trench.

Hardiwar had continued that he came out of the vehicle to render assistance the injured cyclist, but was beaten by persons who had gathered near the area.

He said police later arrived and after he had explained the situation to them, was taken into custody, where he gave a statement.

On Monday the court heard that a total of eight witnesses testified in the matter, but the Magistrate said there were inconsistencies in these statements. As such, the court was convinced that there were no witnesses in the accident.

However, due to the fact that there were skid marks found in the location if the accident, and that of the distance in which the two vehicles and the deceased were thrown, along with the fact that the Post Mortem results showed Dhanraj died from multiple crush injuries, Hardiwar was found guilty.

The magistrate said the defendant failed to control the speed of his vehicle, and since he knew he was approaching a bend, should have driven in such a way that he could maneuver the lorry and not collide with Eddie.

Hardiwar’s attorney, Haymant Ramdhani, before the sentence was handed down, pleaded on his client’s behalf for mercy. After the sentence was handed down, he appealed it and asked for bail for Hardiwar.

However, bail was denied.