Dead: Roy Odel WelchmanFifteen-year-old Roy Odel Welchman, who was crushed on Sunday last after he allegedly slipped off the side of a truck and fell between the wheels of a skidding machine, was “ketching his hand” during a trip to Kwakwani.This was revealed by a relative who told Guyana Times that the young man, a former student of School of Excellence in Linden had visited Kwakwani to spend time with his ailing father while his sister, with whom he lived in Linden, was out of the country. As such, he used the opportunity to “ketch his hand”.The relative said Welchman had only been working with the company, T Bovell Concessions, for a short time and was tasked with operating the GPS and record keeping for the said company.“He is a student but he recently travelled there to visit his father and like all young men when they get bored, they do want to look work you know so he just went to ketch he lil raise in the meanwhile he was there,” the relative said.The relative further said that the family is making preparations for his burial on Saturday and will also be making arrangements to meet with officials from the company.It was reported that on Sunday at about 17:30h at 16 km Bisarooni Backdam, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), Welchman was in the company of a driver and a porter when the accident took place.According to the police, the driver used the skidder to leave the backdam, and on the way out, the skidder hit a bump causing the teen, who was reportedly standing on the left side of the machine, to lose his balance and fall.Guyana Times understands that the operator immediately brought the skidder to a halt and in doing so, it ran over the teen.The driver and the porter rushed the injured young man, who was still conscious at the time, to the Kwakwani Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.The police noted that the 15-year-old’s body was examined and it was observed that it had bruises to both temples, swelling of the face and eyelids, a bruise to the left forearm, and bruises on the upper left side of the back. Welchman’s body is presently at the Kwakwani Burial Ground on ice, awaiting a post-mortem.Up to late Tuesday afternoon, the operator of the machine along with the porter were released on station bail as Police continue their investigations.
In its statement, Unity Resources said that according to its initial information, the car had approached the convoy “at speed” and failed to stop in response to hand signals and a warning flare. “Finally shots were fired at the vehicle and it stopped,” the company said. The episode’s connection with the U.S. Agency for International Development is one of several parallels to the Sept. 16 shootings, in which the Iraqi government says 17 Iraqis died and 27 were injured. The Sept. 16 episode began when a convoy operated by Blackwater USA, an American private security company hired to protect the aid agency’s officials, entered Nisour Square in central Baghdad and fired several bullets toward a car the guards apparently considered a threat. In Tuesday’s shooting, like the one on Sept. 16, the car drifted forward after the initial burst, prompting guards to unleash a barrage of gunfire. And there were no government officials or policy experts in either of the convoys: The Nisour Square convoy was controlling traffic as part of a larger operation, and the convoy in Karada was on a routine movement that involved only security guards, according to American officials. Although the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has said almost nothing about the Nisour Square episode while an American investigation grinds on, the Iraqi government has said its own investigation concluded that the shootings were an act of “deliberate murder” and called on the Blackwater guards to be prosecuted. Ali Jafar, a traffic policeman posted near the Karada shooting, said he thought the similarities between the two cases were undeniable. “They are killing the people just like what happened in Nisour Square,” Jafar said. “They are butchering the Iraqis.” The new shootings happened at an extremely difficult time for the State Department, which relies heavily on Blackwater to protect its diplomats whenever they work outside the fortified Green Zone. As a result of new restrictions placed on Blackwater after the Nisour Square shootings, the State Department’s numerous programs for rebuilding Iraqi government and technical institutions have been seriously hampered. Embassy officials have vowed to continue their operations even as they increase oversight of Blackwater operations.. Tuesday, the convoy of white SUVs was stopped in the eastbound lane of Karada Street at an intersection with an alley lined with low concrete homes, witnesses said. A man who works at a plumbing shop, who gave his name only as Muhammad, said the Oldsmobile was approaching the convoy from behind. He said he heard no warnings. “They shot from the back door,” he said. “The door opened and they fired.” Two witnesses said they heard a single shot first, which apparently punctured the Oldsmobile’s radiator, spilling coolant onto the street about 50 yards from where the convoy was parked. As the car continued rolling, the guards opened up with a barrage of sustained automatic fire. The car finally came to a stop about 10 yards from the convoy at a point that, three hours later, was marked by blood stains, broken glass and tufts of brown hair. The plumber said the convoy moved out right away, without checking to see what damage had been done or to offer medical help. The Oldsmobile was towed to a nearby police station. The priest and relatives near the scene identified the driver as Maruni Uhanees, 59, and the dead passenger as Jeniva Jalal, 30. As twilight set in, Armenian family members gathered beside the car in a dirt alley outside the police station, staring at the blood and hair on the inside of the windshield. A brother-in-law of the driver, Hrair Vartanian, said Uhanees was the mother of three grown daughters. As he spoke, one of the daughters arrived and looked at the bloodstains, crying softly.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BAGHDAD – Two women died here Tuesday when their white Oldsmobile was riddled by automatic gunfire from private security guards, just weeks after a similar shooting that strained relations between the United States and Iraq. The guards in Tuesday’s shooting were linked to the same United States government agency whose security agents sprayed bullets across a crowded Baghdad square in September, an episode that caused an uproar among Iraqi officials and is still being investigated by the United States. On Tuesday, as many as 40 bullets struck the car, killing the driver and the woman in the front seat on the passenger side. A woman and a boy in the back seat survived, according to witnesses and local police officials in the Karada neighborhood, where the shooting took place on a boulevard lined with appliance stores, tea shops and money changers. American government officials said the guards had been hired to protect financial and policy experts working for an organization under contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development, a quasi-independent State Department agency that does extensive aid work in Iraq. The organization, RTI International, is in Iraq to carry out what is ultimately a State Department effort to improve local government and democratic institutions. But a Bush administration official said that the State Department bore no responsibility to oversee RTI’s security operations. “AID does not direct the security arrangements of its contractors,” the official said. “These groups are contractually responsible for the safety and security of their employees. That responsibility falls entirely on the contractor.” A priest and relatives near the scene said all of the people in the car were Armenian Christians, who make up a small minority group in Iraq. The Oldsmobile was shot once in the radiator, witnesses said, in front of a plumbing supply store as it approached a convoy of white sport utility vehicles 50 yards away. As the car kept rolling, a barrage of gunfire suddenly tore through the hood, roof and windshield and the passenger side of the vehicle. The guards who were in the convoy work for Unity Resources Group, an Australian-run security firm that has its headquarters in Dubai and is registered in Singapore, according to a statement by the company. Unity Resources was hired by RTI to provide security in Iraq.