Death of GDF rank: Truck driver says highway was dark, soldiers were not wearing reflective vests

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Dead: Deslyn Nicholson

See full statement from the Guyana Police Force: 

Police are investigating a fatal accident which occurred at about 21:00 hrs last night (Wednesday) at Madewini, Soesdyke Linden Highway, in the vicinity of the Splashmins Fun Park, which resulted in the death of Guyana Defence Force (GDF) soldier, Sergeant Deslyn Nicholson.

The accident involved a Motor Lorry #GAC 5915, driven by a 26-year-old from Golden Grove, East Bank Demerara, and three pedestrians — GDF Staff Sergeant Kwame Reid, Lance Corporal Kelly Jackson, and Sergeant Deslyn Nicholson (now deceased), a 33-year-old of Lot 605 #30 Village West Coast Berbice. The three pedestrians are members of the Guyana Defence Force, Base at Camp Stephenson Timehri.

Enquiries disclosed that Sergeant Nicholson was among a number of GDF ranks participating in the Guyana Defence Force 30km Annual walk, which commenced at approximately 17:50 hrs yesterday from Red Ground Timehri to Camp Stephenson.

The Lorry driver alleges that he was proceeding South along the eastern side of Madewini Road when he suddenly saw three persons in dark-coloured clothing walking three abreast on the eastern side of the road heading South. They were allegedly not wearing any reflecting vests, lights, or other warning appliances, and at the time, the area was dark due to the absence of street lights.

Upon seeing that, he applied brakes to avoid a collision with the three pedestrians, but due to the short distance, the left side front of his vehicle collided with them. As a result of the collision, they all fell onto the road surface, receiving injuries on their bodies. The driver said he exited his vehicle and noticed the three pedestrians were all soldiers.

Sergeant Nicholson and the two other ranks were picked up and placed into an Army Ambulance and taken to the Diamond Diagnostic Center, where they were all seen and examined by a Doctor on duty.

Sergeant Nicholson was pronounced dead. The two other ranks were treated and sent away. The body of the deceased was taken to Memorial Gardens Funeral Home Mortuary for cold storage, awaiting a post-mortem examination.

A breathalyzer test was conducted on the Lorry driver, and no trace of alcohol was found in his system. The Lorry driver is in custody, assisting with the investigation.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier Omar Khan, Officers and Ranks of the Guyana Defence Force have since extended sincere condolences to the family of Sergeant Deslyn Nicholson.