‘Be careful on the road’ – mother’s last words to schoolgirl killed in Goed Fortuin accident


By Isanella Patoir


Somatee Barnabas was waiting on her daughter to return home from school on Wednesday when she received the dreadful news that the young girl was struck down by a police vehicle.

The last thing Somatee told 12-year-old Kayla Barnabas before she left for school that morning was to be careful on the road.

“Every morning I [tell] her to [use] the pedestrian crossing, that is the last thing I does tell her before I tell her I love her,” a tearful Somatee told the News Room on Thursday.

Kayla, a student of the West Demerara Secondary School, died after she was struck down by a police pickup while attempting to cross the Goed Fortuin Public Road.

According to the police, the pickup was being driven by a police corporal and it was transporting prisoners with the use of sirens.

The police corporal, who is under close arrest, reportedly tried to swerve from hitting the schoolgirl but failed.

Somatee explained that when they arrived at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, her daughter was already pronounced dead.

Somatee Barnabas (Photo: News Room/June 02, 2022)

“We rushed to the hospital and they said we couldn’t go in and by time they say [we] can come in, my daughter was already dead,” the distraught mother recalled.

Somatee does not believe the police version of events that her daughter ran across the road. According to her, eyewitnesses said that a car stopped to allow the schoolgirl to cross but the police vehicle undertook the car and struck down the young girl.

“A car stop for her to cross and when she [was] halfway the road, them [police vehicle] overtake and knock her down,” Somatee explained.

A nurse, who was passing in a car, reportedly stopped and took the young girl to the hospital.

Kayla was the younger of two girls. Her mother said she was very intelligent and had secured marks to attend the St Joseph High School in Georgetown when she wrote her National Grade Six Assessment last year, however, the family could not afford to send her to a school in the city.

“Words can’t explain how she was loving and joyful. She wished to be a doctor when she grow up.

“All I want is justice for my daughter, she did not get to say ‘mommy or daddy’, I didn’t hear her last words before her life come out of her,” the mother said.

Police reported that CCTV cameras will be reviewed to determine whether the driver was speeding but it was noted he tested negative for alcohol in his system.

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