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Rodney Ramsundar

“This is negligence,” lamented 70-year-old Harilal Ramsundar, hours after his youngest son was fatally hit by a steel beam that detached from a hiab crane truck in Siparia yesterday.

The accident happened less than five minutes after Rodney Ramsundar, 44, left his home to purchase a cigarette at a nearby parlour along the SS Erin Road in Syne Village.

According to a police report, shortly after 7 am the truck, owned by Endecon Designs & Construction Ltd, was proceeding out of Siparia in the same direction as Ramsundar. It is believed that the outrigger from the hiab became loose and struck Ramsundar on his head, causing massive head injuries. The outrigger is used to stabilise the truck when the hiab is lifting a load. He died instantly.

Recalling the moments leading up to his son’s death, Harilal Ramsundar said, “I was home here sitting down. I know that Rodney just leave to go by the parlour. He tell he stepmother he going to buy a cigarette and come back, and Tanty don’t cook. He eh want no food today.”

Not even five minutes later, he said his second son Allan told them a truck had struck Ramsundar and killed him. Harilal said he and his wife Sunariday Logan walked to the scene where he saw his son’s body on the road covered with a sheet.

Trying to contain his grief, the father of three blamed carelessness for his son’s demise. He said his son never had a chance, as he would not have seen the truck because it approached from behind him.

“That is not only an accident, that is a whole child’s life, a man, that is a young man life that driver take. I even tell the driver right there in the presence of the police. I say same that same type of work that all yuh doing, I do almost that same thing you know and safety comes first.”

He said the company involved was supposed to have done proper safety checks before the truck went on the road.

“I want justice to be done. I have to get justice. As I say, this is total negligence and this is what I can’t stand for.

“This happen to my son but what if the other side (beam) fly off and a vehicle was passing with five passengers. Would they say it happen by a mistake? When death is concerned there is nothing like a mistake.”

He said when Ramsundar was nine years old he fell off a tree and suffered an injury that caused him to walk with a limp. He was unemployed and had no wife or children.

The family said nobody from the company had contacted them up to the time they were speaking to Guardian Media.

The driver, who lives at Mohess Road, Penal, was interviewed by the police and allowed to go home pending further investigations. The truck was also impounded at the Siparia Police Station for an inspection to be carried out.

When Guardian called one of the cell numbers on the truck, a man answered and directed us to another person. That person, however, said he was not authorised to speak on behalf of the company. When the company’s landline was called, a woman answered the phone and said no one was available for comment. An autopsy is expected to be done tomorrow. Investigations are continuing.