by Emmanuel Joseph
When Randolph Reid went to his regular “cool out” spot under a make shift shed on Canewood Road, Jackson, St. Michael today, little did he know it would have been his last.
At around 2:56 this afternoon, Reid met his death while sitting under the shed at the side of the road, feet away from the Jackson roundabout. The man died on the scene, after being struck by a motor car which reportedly lost control and pinned him to a guard wall next to where he sat.
The car, driven by Peter Boxhill of Fairfield Main Road, Black Rock, ended up on its side. Boxhill, who appeared dazed and in shock, complained of a minor injury to one of his feet and was given initial treatment at the scene by paramedics from the Emergency Ambulance Service.
Two other vehicles, a container truck and 10-wheel dump truck, were also involved in the accident. Arthur Cumberbatch of Bakers, St. Peter, the driver of the dump truck, told Barbados TODAY the brakes on his vehicle failed and it only came to a stop almost 100 metres away after smashing a utility pole. The truck was extensively damaged.
Cumberbatch complained of severe back pains as he lay in the doorway of a nearby house, awaiting medical attention.
The driver of the container truck, Julian White, of Ellerslie Road, St. Stephen’s Hill, Black Rock, St. Michael did not appear to be physically hurt as he walked around the scene or stood discussing the tragedy with police officers.
Witnesses said the situation could have resulted in a mass casualty with many deaths. Timing, one eye witness suggested, made the difference.
“A whole group of school children from Lester Vaughan and Sharon Primary were walking on the same side the lorry was travelling, but had just crossed over to the other side, with some their parents. A whole set of school children would have been dead,” the witness observed.
As news of Reid’s death spread and family members emerged on the scene, loud cries rang out, some female relatives wailed uncontrollably, bending down in agony or burying their heads in their hands.
At times, other relatives and police had to try to console those who could not contain themselves. Cries were even louder when close relatives were asked to identify the body.
Traffic along that busy road artery came to a standstill before police diverted vehicles through Arthur Seat as police took control of the scene from first responders from the Barbados Fire Service, and cordoned off the area.
Ten fire officers, two water tenders and one rescue vehicle attended the scene, along with two ambulances.