An Errol Barrow Day outing has ended in tragedy for a Christ Church family.
It was just before 3 p.m. yesterday when the car driven by 76-year-old Denis Wentworth Linton collided with a truck at the junction of Bennetts and Sandy Lane in St James.
Linton, who was accompanied by his wife Pamela, was on his way to visit their daughter Helen at her home in the same parish when the accident occurred at 2:55 p.m.
The elderly driver had to be cut out from behind the wheel of his vehicle by members of the Barbados Fire Service. He also reportedly suffered several lacerations about his head, right shoulder and back and had to be transported to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) where he later succumbed to his injuries.
The driver of the truck James Boyce, 51, of Kingsland Christ Church escaped with his life; so too did Linton’s wife Pamela, who remained under medical observation at QEH today.
When a Barbados TODAY team visited the Lintons’ home at Barrack’s Hill this afternoon, members of the closely-knit family were still trying to come to terms with the untimely passing of their patriarch.
As the couple’s son Adrian spoke to the team in the living room, their daughter-in-law Alecia Banfield-Linton sat in the staircase with her head bent for most of the time, while another unidentified family member kept her eyes fixed on an old family portrait, which shows a much younger Linton and his wife in happier times, at the beach.
Though not shedding any tears, an emotional Adrian was forced to pause several times during the interview as he recalled yesterday’s tragedy, which he said was both “unexpected” and “difficult” for the family, as they simply did not have any time to prepare.
However, he was grateful for the fact that his dad did not suffer for any extended period of time.
As for his mother, who was the lone passenger in the vehicle, Adrian said she suffered minor injuries and was only being kept in hospital as a precautionary measure.
“She basically has a concussion but she’s not a young person anymore so they [doctors] are just making sure that no complications will arise when she is discharged,” he explained.
Originally, the elderly couple was due to be accompanied by daughter-in-law Banfield-Linton on the trip to St James.
However, she made a last-minute decision to travel to St James with another family member instead – a decision that may have saved her life.
After visiting both the scene of the accident and the hospital yesterday, a still visibly shaken Banfield-Linton told Barbados TODAY she was finding it hard to come to grips with the entire episode.
“It was quite devastating to see the site and to watch them [her elderly relatives] being taken from the car and to the Accident & Emergency [A&E] area,” said Banfield Linton.
As a former medical practitioner, she is accustomed to working in A&E but the incident involving her close relatives had still come as a shock.
“They were very healthy, active people, very family oriented so it’s quite a shock to go from that to going to see the wreck. It’s a lot,” she said.
Her deceased father-in-law was a former engineer who lived in England with his wife for over 20 years before returning to Barbados in 1976.
Adrian, who is one of the couple’s three children, described his dad as a man who lived his life for his children.
“He travelled extensively. He liked his pudding and souse. He loved to be out and about with his extended family. He lived his life to the fullest and he loved his children,” he said, pausing at intervals to maintain his composure as he reflected on the loss of his father.
“We just have to pick up the pieces and move on,” he said.
The deceased Linton leaves to mourn his wife Pamela, his three children – Adrian, Helen and Jonothan – and three grandchildren.