Chad Butcher left the Waverley Cot, St George home he shared with his grandmother Patricia Lovell sometime Monday night to give his mother a lift to her home, and never made it back.
Where he went and what he did after dropping off his mum remains unclear, but in the wee hours of Tuesday morning the 20-year-old lost control of the car he was driving and it struck the wall at the National Sports Council in My Lords Hill, St Michael.
He was freed from the vehicle by personnel from the Barbados Fire Service and rushed by ambulance to the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he subsequently succumbed to his injuries.
Faced with the dreaded reality of his tragic passing, Chad’s loved ones Tuesday gathered at the family home, eyes laden with tears, trying to make sense of the death of a young man at the point of beginning to chart his course in life.
Absent from the gathering was his mother Sherryann Butcher, who aunt Janet Butcher said was much too distraught.
And as they reflected on Chad’s life, a picture emerged of a disciplined, quiet and humble young man who loved cars.
“He was a very quiet person. We can’t believe he’s gone just like that. We are trying, but it’s really hard, he will be missed,” Janet Butcher said of the former Princess Margaret Secondary School student.
“[He was] a real cool and humble person. He never gave any trouble. I can’t believe he is gone,” added his cousin Shalisa Butcher.
“He really liked football and dealing with cars. That was his thing. This is just so hard to think about right now,” she added.
Shalisa said she last saw her cousin two days ago and they had planned to go car racing on Sunday, emphasizing the irony of Chad dying as a result of a car accident.
Over at his father’s house in Sealy Land, Bank Hall, St Michael, the mood was no different, as the Griffith family wept for their loved one.
His dad Calvin Griffith sat in a chair holding his head, his eyes filled with tears, and admitted that he was still in a state of shock.
His voice barely audible, Griffith had difficulty finding the right words to describe just how he felt and how much he would miss his son with whom he shared a close relationship.
“I’m trying to hang in there, but it’s hard. I’m still weak since I found out and all now I don’t know how I feel,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“Last time I saw him was last week Monday. He just called to say he was going to work. I went up to look for him Saturday but he was gone already. I’m going to miss everything about him. We did a lot together,” he added.
Grandmother Elma Griffith could not help but reminisce about the times they spent together and the impression Chad had made even in his short life.
“I know I’m going got miss him. All like now he’s still my heart. I was there with him all the time. He used to live here sometimes too.
“He like a car bad. When I had my car he used to do everything to it for me. He would help me in the kitchen too, he used to play around the pot and I used to give him his chance,” she said.
The grieving grandmother said she last saw Chad three weeks ago, and was looking forward to a visit last Saturday, but he did not make it.
Meantime, the grandfather Anderson Griffith fought back tears as he spoke of the deep hurt caused by the young man’s death.
“I’m very sad about it. I’m real hurt. I didn’t go by the accident or anything because I can’t take on anything like that . . . . He was a nice, quiet boy, very cool and reserved. Never used to get in any trouble at all.”
Unlike the grandfather, Chad’s aunt Susan Licorish could not hold back the tears. She wept as she recalled getting the news from her mother Tuesday morning.
“We never really had anyone that close dying so tragic, so it lick us for six,” she said.
Licorish said her nephew had been on her mind a lot recently, but never did she ever think he would be dead.
“Just last week I was saying I haven’t seen him for a while and my mother told me he said he would have come and look for me or call me but he didn’t call. He was a nice young fella who was trying to do the right thing and now start a job. He liked driving; he took an interest in cars because he used to help his uncle who is in the automotive field. He was even interested in going to the Polytechnic to do it but he never pursued it. He was just going through my mind a lot recently,” she said.
Chad was the 13th person to die on the road this year, three more than the ten recorded for all of last year.