June Knight loved running, so it is ironic that she tragically lost her life while doing so.
Last Saturday morning, during a routine early morning run along Arch Hall, St Thomas, with members of the Runnersway group, the Grazettes, St Michael resident was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by 27-year-old Daniel Haynes of Jackmans, St Michael.
Knight, who is in her 50s, was transported to the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) where she succumbed to her injuries.
Today, one of her trainers, Desmond Rowe, told Barbados TODAY they were preparing for the Run Barbados marathon later this year when the tragedy occurred.
Still trying to come to grips with the loss of a woman he described as “the light and glue of the group”, Rowe said her death had left a serious void.
“Everyone loved June. I knew her for about two years. She was phenomenal. In the two years that I trained her, we aged, but as she aged, she got faster. It was phenomenal.
“She was really a fun loving person in the time that I had with her. She liked going out and she was just a really fun person to be around. It was fun to read her messages in the group’s social chat. She was really funny. She would commentate when the others were running the marathons. She was really a light and glue in the actual group,” he told Barbados TODAY.
The trainer said the entire group was stunned by Knight’s passing, while admitting that the past few days have been extremely difficult.
“It’s so hard for all of us the way she was just ripped away from us. It’s really hard to talk about it. So many of us were there at the actual scene, it makes it really difficult to handle the situation. It’s just so hurtful.
“Everything we do reminds us of June. We ran this morning and we just remembered June and her pitter- patter,” he said, explaining that “you could always hear her coming”.
Rowe said though the wounds were still raw and the pain of her death still fresh in their minds, members of the group were preparing to come together this coming Saturday to honour their fallen friend.
“We are going to meet at 5:30 [a.m.] and do a solemn type of march, up to the Garrison [Savannah] and back.
“We are going to lay some flowers for June spelling out her name and everything. I suppose we will do something else too, but being that this is the first Saturday since she passed, that’s what we are doing,” Rowe revealed.
Details of Saturday’s memorial have also been posted on the group’s Facebook page, with all attendees being encouraged to wear a florescent green top or a green ribbon, along with a black armband, to highlight their road safety concerns.
“We intend to record our solemn event for our fallen friend and angel June so that we can blast to social media and to the relevant authorities that road safety for runners, walkers and cyclists is still a grave and a dangerous problem which requires immediate and urgent attention,” one post explained.
“I encourage you to forward this call to action and intent to honour June as widely as you wish so that we can make a bold stance for road safety,” it added.
Included on the page are also several moving tributes to Knight who was described by Sue Ward as a “truly amazing runner, always getting faster and running longer.
“A real inspiration to us all and the biggest heart that held us close. Always ready to party with the biggest smile and the warmest hugs. June was the stickiest glue that held us together and we will run forever more in her name and in her honour,” Ward added.
Her sentiments were echoed by Nesta Watson who said “we will miss her.
“She has been an inspiration to us all no matter what level of runner you are.”
When a Barbados TODAY team visited Knight’s home in Grazettes, members of her family politely declined our request for an interview saying they were still in no position to speak about the loss of their loved one.