Mother, daughter die on same spot two months apart

Donna Diana Persad died cradled by her father, just as her mother, Rose Celestine Persad, had on the morning of June 23.

Diana, a resident of Queens, New York, had returned to Trinidad for her mother’s funeral and planned to return to the United States on Tuesday.

She was crushed against the rear of the family vehicle parked on the roadway outside a neighbour’s house.

She was hit just as she was closing the trunk after returning a cooking gas tank used for a prayer service held in memory of her dead mother.

Her father, Basdeo Persad, 52, ran from the house to find his daughter lying in a drain.

He told the Express yesterday: “When I saw her lying there I saw her mother. Because it was the same thing, the same injuries. And I knew she would die.”

Two-and-a-half months ago, his wife was standing in the front yard of the family’s home speaking with friends about the plans she had to celebrate her 28th wedding anniversary that day, when a runaway car crashed into a shed on the property and crushed her.

Her husband came running to his wife, who asked him to remove the rings from her fingers, before dying.

Basdeo Persad, a retired rice and cane farmer, said he found himself in a similar nightmare on Tuesday when his daughter was struck at around 3 p.m.

“She (Diana) was conscious. She asked us to turn her over but the paramedics said don’t move her. She stayed there for half an hour.

“I was telling her to stay strong…everything would be alright. But I know about these things now. I remembered my wife. Her body was so mashed up, so I know she was dying right there.”

In the meantime, Persad said, the driver of the vehicle that struck his daughter “was on the phone calling for a wrecker to come move his vehicle. He said he got a blackout and didn’t know what happened. He bounced down my daughter but concerned about his car”.

Persad said he ignored the man to keep his sanity, “because I know how the law works now. The police will come, take a statement from him at the station and let him go home. Same thing with my wife.

“Up to now when I ask the police what happening (with the case) they say they investigating. When I went to the mortuary today, they tell me come back tomorrow.”

His two other daughters and a son living in New York are now making arrangements to return to Trinidad for another funeral.

Diana Persad was an assistant manager at a drug store in Queens and employees there also planned to come for her funeral.

Yesterday, Basdeo Persad said to think of the deaths of his wife and daughter “just wants to make my head explode. So I just remember my wife’s favourite saying, ‘that life is a journey, there will be plenty of obstacles and in the end, life has to go on’.”

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