A Silver Hill Drive, Christ Church family is having a hard time coping with a double tragedy with the deaths of two of its members in a 24-hour period.
Five hours after learning that his 58-year-old uncle Julius Joseph was discovered dead in his Vine Street, The City home, 25-year-old Daniel Sylvester Louis was killed in a road accident.
Daniel, a member of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF), was on his way home last night to comfort his grieving mother Doreen Louis-Prescott when his black Toyota Tercel collided with a white Ford Pathfinder along the Graeme Hall section of the ABC Highway around 9:15 p.m.
The family’s deep distress was evident when Barbados TODAY arrived at the home today, with Louis-Prescott curled in tears, while other family members and fellow faithful of the Silver Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church tried to comfort her.
In a few short sentences, the distraught mother of four passed the responsibility to speak to her eldest son Kemar John, who was struggling to compose himself.
With his voice cracking and his eyes red from crying, the 29-year-old John recalled being the first in the family to receive the news via social media that his brother had been involved in an accident, although he did not realize at the time that Daniel had died.
“My brother left home saying he would be back in the morning and 20 minutes later a friend of mine sent me a picture on WhatsApp asking me if that’s my brother’s car. We tried to reach him, all attempts failed and then I called my mother. She went to the scene and the police directed her to the hospital,” John revealed.
He said his mother and siblings – 13-year-old Sara Louis and 16-year-old Lucius Louis – had a difficult time coming to grips with the news, while Daniel’s two children, two-year-old Katai and one-year-old Alaysia Louis were unaware of their father’s passing, as the family still did not know how to break the news to the little ones who had spent Christmas Day with their dad.
John told Barbados TODAY Sara had not spoken to anyone since leaving the hospital, while Lucius had taken to repeatedly listening to voice notes his brother had sent him prior his passing.
“My mother is not coping very well. To lose a brother and a son in 24 hours – losing one is traumatic, losing two is crazy,” he added.
John said Daniel was devoted to his children and worked hard to provide for them.
“He was always thinking about how he was going to provide and it’s a challenge, because he couldn’t provide the way he wanted to. But I could assure [you] my brother toiled and turned many a time to find ways he could provide for his family,” John said of his younger brother.
John was on the verge of tears as he spoke of his brother’s discipline that came in part from the BDF, and his passion for cars and body building.
He also said his brother was “very skilled with his hands” and would complete any task he was given, no matter how difficult.
Well-known in the Sliver Hill community, the soldier was liked by all who knew him, John said, added “everybody loved him; everywhere Daniel goes, everybody knows him and likes him a lot”.
Meantime, while the details surrounding his uncle’s death are yet unknown, John said the sudden death came as a surprise to the family.
“All we know is he did not follow his regular routine. He usually gets up early, he calls certain people and he does certain things. He’s someone who is not hard to reach.
“That particular day, people couldn’t reach him and they figured something had to be wrong and one of his very close friends went to the property and opened the window and saw him on the ground lying down,” he explained.
The driver of the other vehicle, 50-year-old Kenneth Springer of Lowlands, Christ Church, was accompanied by his wife and four children, ages six, nine, 11, and 15. Springer and four of his five passengers complained of pains about the body and were treated at the scene by emergency medical technicians.
Police are reminding motorists of the importance of adhering to basic safety measures whilst operating motor vehicles, as well as the significance of exercising due care and attention when using the highways and roadways.