One second, 38-year-old ZR driver Leon Roach was standing next to a well on a plot of land at Sayes Court, Christ Church, preparing to “relieve himself”.
In the blink of an eye, Roach was falling into the dark as he plunged approximately 50 feet to the bottom of the pit, and greeted by rusty cutlasses, corroded galvanize and steel.
He did not know it at first because at some point the darkness overtook him as he blacked out, he told Barbados TODAY in an interview this afternoon from his bed at his Breedy’s Land, Silver Sands home.
Still in pain and still shocked by yesterday afternoon’s incident, Roach said he had no clue what happened, although he believed he slipped.
However, he was sure there were guardian angels escorting him to the bottom and cushioning the fall because there was no other way to explain how he managed to survive.
Roach told Barbados TODAY when he regained consciousness he heard voices at the top of the well calling his name, and soon after, a fireman was standing at his side, preparing him to be hauled from darkness to light.
“I am in a lot of pain, but all I can say is that I am lucky to be alive. Man, I never fall so fast. Down there like a death trap with them collins, pipes, and other things. When the fireman come down and see me standing he say, ‘man you real lucky,’” he said, as he recalled the frightening experience.
Roach escaped with a shattered nasal bridge and a broken toe, along with small cuts and bruises about the body. He was treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where, he said, the staff members looked after him with due care and attention.
The ZR driver recalled it was just after 2 p.m. yesterday that he parked his van and went to a nearby spot to relieve himself, when the unthinkable happened.
“From the time I step on the corner of the well with my right foot I just feel myself falling. It had three slabs on top but I fall through the one in the middle. The two cracked slabs at the top there looking like them ready to drop in. I didn’t feel good down in there at all,” he said.
Roach could not say how long the ordeal lasted, but he told Barbados TODAY he was later told that it was a passenger travelling in a van who sounded the alarm.
“My phone was in my pocket, but like I tell you, I was unconscious. I can’t even tell you how long I was down in the well for. I only hear when the firemen come. But other people say them did hollering for my name but I wasn’t answering,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief.
Roach has spent time in the belly of the wells in the past, when he assisted an individual who was in the business of cleaning them. In those days he went in willingly and the experience was nothing like what he went through yesterday.
“I use to be with him, but . . . down in there yesterday was terrible.”
The Christ Church man was aware that the outcome could have been different and instead of watching his only child graduate from primary school in a few weeks, the bells could have been tolling for him.
Now, all he wants is to be back on his feet in time to see her walk through the gates of Parkinson Memorial School on the first day of the next school year.
And for this, he said, he was grateful.
“It is God. It is God that save me from falling on one of them sharp things down in there, especially that rusty sword and that metal pipe. I have my young daughter to live for,” he said.
“I got to thank the woman who see me, the fire officers and doctors and nurses. Everybody treat me good. I ain’t got no complaints about the treatment I received.
“Thanks to everybody that do something to help me yesterday. I just happy to be alive,” the survivor emphasized.
Meanwhile, when Barbados TODAY revisited the area this afternoon, the uncovered well was cordoned off with caution tape.