HAMILTON –– Friends and family have paid tribute to a popular sportswoman who died after a suspected double hit-and-run crash in the early hours of Saturday morning.
La-Nae Woodley, 22, was driving with a pillion passenger along Middle Road in Warwick when their motorcycle collided with a van, which then left the scene.
According to police, another car then drove through the crash scene, hit Woodley and then continued without stopping.
Last night, three people were in custody after being arrested in connection with the crash.
Woodley’s heartbroken coaches and teammates from the Blazzin Bluebirds netball team told The Royal Gazette of their disbelief at her tragic death.
Coach and friend Erika Russell described Ms Woodley as “Miss Dependable” who was always happy to help out her club or her friends.
“La-Nae was a very keen and talented netball player, but she also put a great deal into the game through youth programmes and her umpiring,” she said.
“Everyone is completely devastated at the club, her teammates are heartbroken.
“She was the heartbeat of the club; she was the anchor in our defence, a go-to person and a very popular individual, too.
“Everyone loved La-Nae. She loved to laugh and always had a smile on her face.
“People feel cheated by what has happened to her and they feel angry, too.”
Woodley, from the Friswells Hill area, had previously worked in an after-school programme before recently starting a course at Bermuda College.
Bermuda Netball Association president Tracey Sharrieff said: “The BNA would like to send heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family and friends of La-Nae, who was an avid participant in the domestic league of netball.
“La-Nae played a very important role in the development of netball, as a lead player of Young Men Social Club Blazzin Bluebirds, senior and junior league umpire, junior league coach and role model.
“She was very reliable, and could be called upon at any time.
“Her teammates can attest that you could reach out to her at any time for her assistance.
“La-Nae’s contributions to netball will not be forgotten, and she will be missed very much. May she rest in peace and be granted Paradise.”
Progressive Labour Party MP Michael Weeks, who visited the Woodley family at the weekend, said La-Nae was “like family”.
“I have known the Woodley family for many years. I watched La-Nae grow from a little girl to a beautifully poised young lady,” he added.
“La-Nae’s sister Darrika is our niece and my wife taught both La-Nae and Darrika at the Whitney Institute several years ago.
“So La-Nae was like family and she is another young person who, regrettably and sadly, has gone too soon.
“No doubt that she will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
“As I can attest, having lost my son almost three years ago in a road fatality, dealing with death is never easy.
“But, to not only lose a child, but to lose a child in such a sudden and tragic manner, is heart-wrenching and difficult to understand and accept.
“My wife and I were able to visit with the family and to support La-Nae’s mother Leah, her grandmother and the extended family. As is to be expected, it was a very sombre time. Not much to be said, but praying that your presence helps to ease a bit of the pain even for a minute.
“I want to take this time to again extend my deepest condolences on behalf of my family to La-Nae’s parents and to the entire family.”
The fatal accident occurred just after 4 a.m. on Saturday on Middle Road, at the junction with Cobbs Hill Road in Warwick.
Woodley was taken to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries, while her passenger was treated for lacerations to a leg.
Police later located the van and took into custody a 26-year-old man.
In the early hours of yesterday, a 27-year-old woman was detained by officers after Police located the car believed to be involved in the accident.
Later the same day, another man was arrested in connection with the investigation.
Last night, Premier Michael Dunkley, Minister of Transport Shawn Crockwell and Shadow Minister of Public Safety Walter Roban extended their condolences to the Woodley family.