Deadly Agricola crash: Driver traumatized, family says was not reckless

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By Isanella Patoir

The 38-year-old driver of the truck GWW 962 that killed 7-year-old Ciara Benjamin on the Agricola Public Road, East Bank Demerara Saturday is in a traumatized state, according to his family.

The family spoke with the News Room on Monday at the South Road Georgetown Office of their lawyer James Bond and said that in the fifteen years that Danion Welcome has been driving, he was never involved in an accident.

Welcome is a father of three daughters, two of whom are twins. He usually transports goods to Lethem but would sometimes transport sand.

One of his daughters, Adancia said her father is family oriented and is a loving person, however, he remains in a troubled state after he crashed into little Ciara who attempted to cross the road with her aunt Simone Barry.

Adancia said her father is not taking comfort from his family and she believes it is because of the level of trauma he suffered, both physically and mentally.

Danion Welcome and three of his daughters

“At the moment right now I haven’t seen my dad since the night that he was taken to the hospital and I can tell that he is not taking it very well…he is very sympathetic that he took a little girl’s life, it was not meant to happen, it was an accident,” Adancia said.

The wife, Claire Welcome said her husband is known for assisting persons with their vehicles so as to avoid accidents and the situation is very unfortunate for both families.

“All he is studying is the little girl that lost her life, he has a child who is just about that age and he is studying what if it was his child,” the wife said.

Danion was severely beaten by residents with an iron pipe; he was eventually rescued by the Police and taken into custody, where he remains.

Another daughter Cladancia said her father did not attempt to escape the accident scene, but rather, he ran for his life into another truck after persons started to stone him.

“When they said he ran, it wasn’t when he ran from the truck but he ran when the assault started because I don’t think anyone would stand there and allow someone to beat them,” Cladancia said.

Cladancia said her father could have died.

“There were some comments on Facebook that ‘he lucky the Police come and save him’, but I don’t think they realized that if the Police didn’t come and rescue him, he would have lost his life and I don’t think they realized that means that I [would] lose a father,” Cladancia said.

The family said they are saddened that little Ciara died and they are very sympathetic to her family but noted that Danion did not deserve to be beaten and stoned.

“My brother didn’t deserve what happened and I am certain from speaking to him, I know for a fact that he also is sympathetic about what happened and he is very hurt,” his sister, Ameica Welcome told the News Room.

Attorney-at-law, James Bond said his client suffered a fractured skull, severe contusions to the arms, back and neck along with gaping wounds to the scalp.

Bond condemned the vigilante justice and he is seeking bail for his client so that he can be given proper medical attention.

“It is clear as day that he was not at fault and this was just an unfortunate accident,” Bond said.

Welcome’s sand truck was subsequently torched at the scene of the accident after Ciara’s remains were removed.

The truck was the family’s main source of income.

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