Grief-stricken and struggling to come to terms with the tragedy which claimed the lives of their loved ones, relatives of two of the four young ladies killed in a horrific car accident on Two Mile Hill, St Michael early Sunday, reflected on their loss today, fondly recalling their many positive attributes.
Elkins Brathwaite, father of 18-year-old Carey Brathwaite, the youngest of the four deceased, said when he got the painful news yesterday morning, he thought it was a joke.
“I was home in my bed. Her mother called me and told me she was involved in an accident. I told her she had to be making jokes, I was stunned. I got dressed right away and headed to the scene. When I got to the scene, she had already gone to the hospital. I went there but when I saw her, she had already passed,” he recalled.
Brathwaite remembered Carey as a very obedient girl.
“I love my daughter real, real bad. She was my last child. We spoke everyday about any and everything under the sun. That was my little girl. The last time I saw her was on the 16th of this month but she used to visit me often,” he said, gazing at Carey’s Springer Memorial’s graduation picture.
He said his daughter, who would have been 19 in another two months, had dreams of becoming a cosmetologist and had recently completed classes at the Hospitality Institute of the Barbados Community College (BCC).
Brathwaite said Carey and her brother, Andre, were also very close. He described them as “two peas in a pod, although they had different mothers.”
Speaking to Barbados TODAY shortly after finishing classes at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, Andre said he could not believe that he had lost his little sister.
“I was in my bed when I got the call just after six. I still can’t believe it. I really and truly don’t know how to feel. It was a real shock when I got the news. Just real hard right now,” Andre said sadly.
Pausing to gather his thoughts at times, Andre recounted the last time he saw and spoke to his sister, who resided with her mother, Angela, in Breezy Hill, St Philip.
“The last time I saw her was a few weeks ago when I went in town. Spoke to her for a bit. Last time I messaged her was Saturday. She messaged me to ask me how I was doing and I asked her if she was good. Just checking up on each other as usual,” he said, holding back tears.
Andre said he is going to miss Carey, a former employee of Fairfield Trading, especially since she was always there for him. “She was a real keep-to-herself type of person. If you needed help or anything, she was there. She was there for me through some very tough times and I’m going to miss her real bad.”
Carey’s mom, Angela, said she was not doing well but was trying to cope.
Over in Padmore Village, St Philip, where Shakira Shepherd’s paternal family resides, the mood was sombre and the faces of family members told a tale of hurt, shock and despair.
The family said Shakira was well loved and would be deeply missed.
Her father, Kenville Maynard, said Shakira was his third child and he was still trying to come to terms with the fact that she is gone. “I don’t even know how to feel; not good, not bad. I just don’t know,” Maynard said.
Maynard said he had not yet seen her since her passing but emphasized that he needed to see her. “I haven’t seen her yet. I went looking for her yesterday but I haven’t seen her yet. When I got there they were already gone, and I went to the hospital but they weren’t there. They were down by Two Son’s and I couldn’t get to see her,” he said.
He told Barbados TODAY the last time he saw her was in May at a family picnic, but said they spoke often.
Maynard said he would miss his daughter greatly.
“She was a nice, nice girl. Really quiet. I can’t believe she gone. I had 12 children, I got 11 now. All my children live good with each other,” he said, shaking his head.
Her sister, Kimberly Forde, remarked: “Me and Shakira were close. Used to message often to check up on each other. I can’t believe she gone.”