Sixty-eight-year-old Wilton McAndrew Brathwaite was reportedly rushing to catch a bus into the City on Wednesday night when he met his untimely death.
It was around 10:20 p.m. and Brathwaite had just concluded another enjoyable night out with family and friends in his old neighbourhood of Harmony Lodge, St Martins St Philip and was heading home to
Suttle Street, St Michael when the unthinkable happened.
One woman, who witnessed the tragic accident from her vantage point at the nearby Jumbo’s Bar, which was one of the last places Brathwaite visited that night, said the horrific images of his final moments alive were now permanently etched in her mind.
“After seeing it, you keep seeing it all the time. When you sleeping every time you turn, you keep seeing him there laying down on the ground, so it is a bit hard for those who saw what happened,” the eyewitness, who did not want to identified by name, told Barbados TODAY this afternoon.
She said the entire neighbourhood was deeply saddened over how Brathwaite’s life ended.
“He was a fun person, he liked a lot making sport, teasing everyone and making them happy,” she recalled.
Brathwaite’s 64-year-old sister Delores Harewood was equally caught off guard by the tragedy. In fact, she recalled seeing him alive just a few hours earlier in the community where they both grew up and which she still calls home.
“Somebody wake me up and tell me he got hit by a minibus, so when I went across [to the scene] I saw him there sprawl out in the road. I stood out there until the ambulance came and I called his daughter so his daughter could meet him by the hospital,” Harewood said.
She described the retired watchman at the Hilda Skeene Primary School as a devoted family man, who was also quite generous.
“He would come here if I want anything do . . . [and] he would for it for me. He would come up here, I would cook, give him food, he would spend the day up here and then he would go back [home],” Harewood explained.
The eldest of six siblings, Brathwaite’s death has taken his entire family by surprise, including his 25-year-old daughter Jhakira Massiah who was with him when he took his last breath on Thursday around 12:10 a.m. at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Between tears today, Massiah told Barbados TODAY said she had a sick sense on Wednesday that something bad was going to happen.
“I didn’t know who it was going to happen to, but something was bothering me the whole day, only to hear at 10:30 in the night that my father got in an accident.
“He died Thursday morning and I have been crying since Wednesday night when I got the call,” Massiah revealed, while describing her father as a beacon in her life and that of her one-year-old daughter Jzariah.
With his passing, Massiah said she felt as if the better part of her was permanently gone.
“It is like the better half of me gone,” she said, as tears streamed down her face.
His death death brings to 19 the number of deaths on the island’s roads so far this year, compared to ten for all of last year.