Surveillance video captured from security cameras close to the Mackenzie Wismar bridge reveal that Linden businessman Collis Mentis aka Tom was speeding when he crashed through the metal rails of the bridge and into the murky waters of the Demerara River on Saturday morning.
The speed limit on the bridge is 15 mph. The businessman may have been driving at more than three times that speed when tragedy struck.
The video recording shows the white Toyota pick-up heading east along the bridge at a high speed when it suddenly ripped through the side barrier and plunged into the Demerara river making a big impact as it hit the water.
When the vehicle with the lone occupant was pulled from the river, the airbags were deployed and all of the windscreens and windows were shattered. The businessman was found lifeless trapped in the driver’s seat. He was pronounced dead at the Mackenzie hospital.
It took rescuers just over three hours to locate and pull the vehicle from beneath the dark brown water of the Demerara river at Linden.
Medical officials said when the man’s body was taken to the Mackenzie hospital, he was already dead and could not have survived the impact and being under water for three hours.
Family members have started to plan for his funeral. Sources close to the investigations believe speeding was one of the main factors that caused Saturday’s crash.
The businessman was heading home from an all night party at Christianburg when the tragedy occurred. He was 37 years old.
The Mackenzie Wismar bridge is one of the oldest bridges in Guyana and is the oldest in the mining town of Linden. It was built in the 1960’s to link the Wismar and Mackenzie shores for bauxite mining purposes.
Trains traversed the bridge for several years transporting bauxite before that practice eventually halted though the train lines remain in place on the bridge. This was the first time in the bridge’s 50 year history that a vehicle crashed through its barriers and into the river.