School lift car kills boy

2009-10-16 00:00

A FAMILY from Copesville is devastated by the death of their five-year-old son, who was knocked down outside the Copesville police station on Tuesday afternoon by the car that took him to school.

Roche Ramakala, a grade R pupil at Orient Heights Primary School, suffered head injuries after the car reversed over him when he went to the back of the vehicle to fetch his school bag.

His mother, Kavitha Panday, said the woman who was driving the taxi had been taking her eight-year-old daughter Kanelen to school for the past four years and Roche joined her this year.

Speaking to The Witness, she said: “I do not know what happened on that day as instead of dropping them off at home, she dropped them outside the police station.”

Witnesses who spoke to The Witness said the driver was talking on her cellphone when she dropped them off. “As she was about to drive off, she reversed and knocked the boy over and continued reversing not realising that he was at the back of the car.”

She said: “The doctors told us that he had a fractured skull and his lung had collapsed. It was so painful having to see the tiny body fighting for his life. I do not know how I will survive without him in my life. He was a quiet, but active child who was always full of life.”

A case of culpable homicide was opened.

When asked to comment, the driver referred The Witness to her attorney, Sergie Brimiah, who said he will make a statement later because his client was still too traumatised to comment.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram confirmed the incident, saying the police are taking statements from both parties. “We are still investigating whether the woman had a public driver’s permit in order to be able to transport the children,” he said.

Last Friday, a child was killed in Merrivale in similar circumstances. She ran back across the road to fetch something from the taxi she had just alighted from and the vehicle hit her.

The funeral service for Roche will be held today from 10 am to 2 pm at 286 New Holmes Road, and the cremation will take place at the Mountain Rise cemetery.

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