Wednesday 19th April, 2006


Day at the beach ends in tragedy

Toddler dies in car crash

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Suresh Khotai and his wife Rathee console each other outside the San Fernando General Hospital yesterday. Photo: Tony Howell


A happy day at the beach ended tragically for a Moruga couple on Easter Monday when their van ran off the road, killing their three-year-old son who had been sitting in the front seat with his mother.

Police said toddler Suresh Khotai Jr died from massive head injuries after he flew out of the van and landed on the ground about 50 feet away.

The incident occurred at around 6.30 pm, while the family was returning from a beach lime at Moruga.

In an interview yesterday, the baby’s father Suresh Khotai said they had been proceeding north along the Moruga Main Road when upon reaching Bois Bourg, he got a bad drive from an oncoming motorist. His front tyre blew, causing the van to careen to its side.

“I was not driving hard...We were all happy because we had a good day at the beach,” he recalled.

He said upon reaching a landslip, he slowed down.

“The car was heading in the opposite direction but the driver swerved on my side of the road,” Khotai said.

“I pulled to the other side but my tyre blew out and my van tipped over and fell to its side.”

His wife Rathee broke down in tears as he spoke.

“I told my husband that the baby fly out. We crawled out of the van and when I got to him he was bleeding from his nose and ears,” Rathee wept.

She said the baby had been groaning in pain but did not respond as she begged him to open his eyes.

The child was taken by ambulance to the San Fernando General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Both Khotai and his wife were kept at hospital under observation, but were discharged yesterday.

Rathee said she did not know how to cope with her son’s demise. She said she had waited for 13 years to get pregnant.

“When I had my precious baby boy, God took him away from me,” Rathee said.

She said just moments before the crash, the toddler had been asking for a bottle.

“I was about to tell my husband to pull over so that I could mix him a bottle when the car came in our way,” Rathee said.

She added that she had already enrolled him for school in September.

“He was looking forward to going to school,” she said.

An autopsy was expected to be done on the baby’s body yesterday.

PC Bruce of the Moruga Police Station is investigating.


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