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‘The end is near’

Tuesday, March 18 2014

click on pic to zoom in
An omen: Vishal Maharaj's What's App message
An omen: Vishal Maharaj's What's App message "The end is near" on his cell phone. Maharaj (left) died in a vehicular accident on Sunday morning....

Six days ago, 17-year-old Vishal Maharaj wrote his will and sent out this text message to his friends: “The end is near.”

On Wednesday, he told his mother he was going to die. Today, Maharaj is dead, killed along with his friend Sunil Mahedeo, 20, in a vehicular accident in Cocorite at about 3.30 am on Sunday. Eight youths, including three females, were travelling in a Toyota Hilux heading to Carenage to meet another group of friends after spending some time at Zen Nightclub in Port-of-Spain.

Maharaj and Mahedeo and another male friend were seated in the tray of the Hilux when it skidded, crashed into a concrete bridge in the vicinity of Peake’s Industries, Western Main Road, Cocorite and overturned. Maharaj and Mahedeo pitched out of the tray, onto the road and died instantly while the third friend remained in the tray and survived.

The driver, Khalim Ali, 25, and the other six passengers were taken to the Port-of- Spain General Hospital, but Ali is the only one who was treated and discharged. The other five victims remained warded in satisfactory condition yesterday. Maharaj’s mother, Sita, yesterday told reporters at the Forensic Science Centre in St James that on Wednesday he hugged and kissed her and told her he would die and when he did they would all miss him.

Also, six days ago, her son changed his What’s App status on his cell phone to “the end is near” and typed up a will on his cell phone, assigning his laptop, PlayStation and other possessions to friends and family members.

“That night when he was going to leave, his friends made a joke as if to leave him. I almost told him he shouldn’t bother to go. I never thought it would have happened like that,” said Maharaj’s father, Ramraj, as tears rolled down his face.

“He was a happy boy. He was our last child and didn’t have to study anything. He wanted something and we would give him the money,” he continued in a choked voice.

A family friend described Maharaj as a good boy who always listened to his parents. “He had just finished school at Vishnu Boys College. I don’t think he even got all his exam results. He now started to enjoy life. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said the family friend.

Mahedeo’s father, Narace Bolan, described his son as a decent and quiet young boy who worked in air conditioning. He said he was not aware his son was going out that night until his friends arrived to pick him up. Mahedeo was buried under Muslim rites yesterday, just hours after his body was released to his family. Maharaj’s funeral is expected to be held tomorrow at the family home in Chin Chin Road, Cunupia. The body would then be cremated on the bank of the Caroni River at 12 pm.

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