KINGSTON –– When 23-year-old University of the West Indies student Theo Clunie stumbled upon the scene of a fatal accident at a bus stop on Weymouth Drive, near his Kingston 20 home Monday, it took him several minutes to realise that the lifeless body of the victim was that of his mother.
After all, she had just left for work at a downtown Kingston store after giving him — her only child — bus fare to get to his summer job.
“I was walking to the bus stop and I saw the crowd and I heard people saying that there was a dead woman in the front of the yard, but when I look I didn’t even realise that it was my mother,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
“I started looking real good at the woman, and when I saw that it was my mother, I was wondering if I was dreaming,” he said.
Clunie’s mother, 54-year-old Joan Buckeridge, was mowed down by an out-of-control Honda Stream as she waited at the bus stop about 7:40 am.
According to the police, the Honda Stream and a Mitsubishi Chariot — both travelling in the same direction on Weymouth Drive toward Spanish Town Road — collided in the vicinity of the bus stop. The impact of the crash caused the driver of the Honda Stream to lose control of the vehicle, which mowed down Buckeridge before smashing into the perimeter wall of a premises, knocking over a large chunk of the structure.
Buckeridge’s sister-in-law and her niece, who were with her, escaped with minor injuries.
Monday, more than two hours after the accident, pieces of broken wall and a pair of floral wedge sandals told the tale of the unfortunate incident.
Some people on the scene were upset with the police, who they claimed allowed the responsible driver to escape.
“What kind a policeman dat? Him mussi neva have nuh gun pon him. How you can hold di man and mek him get weh?” one man asked.
The police, however, said that they could not confirm reports about anyone fleeing the scene, but disclosed that they had in custody the driver allegedly responsible for the accident and that the driver had no licence.
The owner of the damaged property said that he was sleeping when he heard a loud sound and when he and his three-year-old daughter went to check on what had happened, saw the body of the dead woman in their front yard.
The man, who asked to remain unidentified, said his daughter normally plays right at the spot where the accident occurred. However, he said going forward, he would no longer allow her to play outside.
Meanwhile, Buckeridge was described by a neighbour as a quiet woman who was always smiling. The woman said although the death was “very sad and unfortunate”, Buckeridge is “gone home to rest”.
“She is a Christian and the Lord knows best. It’s hard when someone dies from an accident or gunshot as it would be better if they die in their sleep; but she is gone home to be with the Lord,” she shared.
As for Clunie, his mother was his everything and he doesn’t know how to get by without her.
“Right now I feel like a little baby who is left without a guardian,” he told the Observer.