California accident victim’s family hopes for justice

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

This police officer looks at a heap of oranges left at the scene where a vehicle lost control, killing Prematee Laltoo and injuring Hakeem Bain and his mother Alana Bain at Southern Main Road on February 22. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

RELATIVES of a woman who was killed in California on Thursday when a vehicle slammed into her are optimistic that justice will be served.

Prematee Laltoo, 43, was killed when a vehicle ran off the Southern Main Road and hit her while she was standing on the pavement at a fruit stall shortly after 1 pm.

It’s an all too familiar experience for Laltoo’s younger brother Amitabh Rajaram, 33. He told reporters at his California home their father, Mahadeo Rajaram, was killed by a vehicle in McBean, Couva while walking home about 24 years ago. He said that driver was never caught, but the family is hoping they will get justice this time.

Gathered with relatives at her home on Friday, Laltoo’s younger brother, Ramnarine Joseph, 40, said she was on her way back from a job interview at a roti shop when she stopped to check her boyfriend and his mother, who runs the stall.

Apart from justice, he hopes something can be done to help support Laltoo’s seven children, aged 11-22.

Adana Bain was reportedly injured in the accident. Her son, Hakeem, dived out of the way when he saw the vehicle approaching.Police said the 35-year-old driver was interviewed and is assisting in investigations.

The accident came almost two weeks after Radica Mohammed, 44, was killed and her husband injured when a car driven by a Form 6 secondary school student slammed into them while they were awaiting transport to go to their garden.