Deadly De Hoop accident: Schoolgirl, who was valedictorian, suffered broken neck 


Eleven-year-old Jamella Rudder, who was among four persons who died on Saturday evening in an accident at De Hoop, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, suffered a broken neck due to the impact of the collision.

Synieka Henry, Rudder’s mother, told reporters on Sunday that her daughter left New Amsterdam Berbice, early Saturday morning to attend an event. The girl was invited by the GuyOil Company to receive an award for her performance at the National Grade Six Assessment. The girl’s father, Jason Rudder, 37, of Glasgow Housing Scheme, took her to the award ceremony.

They were returning home at about 18:35 hrs in a motor car (#PMM 7104) driven by Kellon Jones, 33, of Fort Ordinance, East Canje, Berbice, when the accident occurred.

One of the destroyed vehicles involved in the accident (Photo: News Room/ September 9, 2023)

Police Headquarters said motor car (#PPP 4090), owned and driven by Chris Gonsalves, 26, of Cane Grove, East Coast Demerara, was proceeding at a fast rate. Just before the accident, Gonsalves reportedly overtook a motor car before it ended up in the direct path of Jones’ car, resulting in a head-on collision.

Both drivers died in the accident.

Jason Rudder and Jamella had attended an award ceremony hours before the tragedy

However, there were two survivors: Shelly Harry, 50, of Lot Fort Ordinance and Vikram Ramjawan, 21, of Besty Ground, East Canje.

The mother said she went to the hospital where the doctor on duty told her that Jamella died immediately after the accident.

“My baby was lying on the bed, I feel her, I said, ‘Doc, check her one more time’ and he said, ‘Moms I check, I do all I can but she come in dead’.”

“She died on the spot. She neck break,” the mourning mother said.

The young girl was her primary school valedictorian. Her parents opted to send her to President’s College.

The young girl was her primary school valedictorian. Her parents opted to send her to President’s College.


Ramjawan, one of the survivors, said his seatbelt prevented him from serious harm. He was sitting in the front passenger seat.

Survivor: Vikram Ramjawan,

Harry, the other survivor suffered a fractured leg.

Ramjawan, who has a one-month-old daughter, said he was returning home after working in Georgetown for the entire week and joined the car at the Berbice Car Park and so did the girl and her father (the Rudders).

“Whilst coming down the Mahaicony road it got a dark area and we see a black thing coming and when we do spot it we see is a car he just thing and try to swerve in the corner but it was too late.

“The lil girl get smash up and she father die,” Ramjawan recalled.

Two other accident victims: Kellon Jones and Chris Gonsalves

Meanwhile, Jones’s mother, Colleta Gomes, is urging drivers to be cognizant of the seriousness of the roadways. She told reporters that Jones who is a father of one, was a safe driver but she has seen social media posts that suggest the other driver was drinking alcohol before he got behind the wheel.

“I think that when they’re driving they’re not to drink because when you drink and you drive you don’t even feel like you flying but you just moving so I want to tell all the drivers out there to be careful and don’t drink and drive but he [Jones] wasn’t drinking at the time,” the woman said.

She added that Jones “was a very nice person, loving person and he always give everybody a bright smile on his face.”

The accident joins numerous fatal accidents reported in the last two weeks. Police Headquarters has since launched an exercise using technology to curb road carnage and the increase in road deaths caused by reckless driving using frequently.

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