$1.5M bail for cop charged with causing death of young couple in Mahaica accident

(Photo: Police Corporal Lawrence Carmichael appeared at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court on Thursday)

Twenty-seven-year-old Police Corporal Lawrence Carmichael, was on Thursday, released on $1.5 million bail after he was charged for causing an accident at Mahaica, East Coast Demerara (ECD) which claimed the lives of a young couple.

Corporal Carmichael, who was represented by Attorney-at-Law Dexter Todd appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court.

He was not required to plead to the indictable charges which stated that on February 2, 2022, at Mahaica, he drove Police Force’s vehicle PAB 3143 in a manner dangerous to the public, thereby causing the death of 21-year-old Christopher Bhagwandat and his 16-year-old girlfriend, Sheereda Persaud.

According to reports, on the day in question, ranks were conducting traffic duties on the Zealand Public Road Mahaicony, ECD when Constable Griffith stopped motorcar PNN 8852 which was being driven by Bhagwandat.

Bhagwandat was instructed by the Police ranks to pull over, and he did. However, he then drove away at a fast rate of speed. A passing Anti Crime Patrol vehicle which was driven by Corporal Carmicheal was informed, who along with Constables Tucker, Johnson, and Sam pursued Bhagwandat.

However, at around 10:57 hrs ranks from the Mahaica Police Station heard a loud impact coming from the direction of the Mahaica Bridge. According to Corporal Carmichael, as they were pursuing the vehicle on the bridge, the driver pulled right and collided with the force vehicle, which then collided with the bridge rail.

Both vehicles later collided with a Canter truck that was being driven by Omesh Persaud which was proceeding east on the bridge. On Monday, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) recommended that Corporal Carmichael be charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Bhagwandat who would have celebrated his 22nd birthday on February 28 worked as a mechanic and had resided at Mon Repos, ECD. His father died a few months ago. His girlfriend attended the Bush Lot Secondary School and lived at Bath, West Coast Berbice. She was the Home Affairs Minister during the 2021 Youth Parliament and her presentation focused on road traffic accidents in Guyana.