A sombre feeling enveloped the Exchange Hill, St Michael home of Ronald Knight, the hit and run victim who succumbed to his injuries after more than a month in intensive care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).
Knight’s partner, Antoinette, was much too distraught to speak when Barbados TODAY visited today, and it was left to his 16-year-old daughter Shaquoia Wilkinson to talk about the family’s loss.
Shaquoia was quickly at her dad’s side at the QEH soon after the 45-year-old was struck on March 11 by what police said was a Suzuki Vitara sports utility vehicle while walking along the Bibby’s Lane main road, a stone’s throw from his home.
She last visited him last Saturday, and was holding on to hope that he would survive.
Therefore, the teenager told Barbados TODAY, she was shocked when news came that her dad had died yesterday.
“When I heard that he got hit I was shocked. The same Sunday it happened I went down there as I heard about it and I was at the hospital straight until Monday.
“The last time I saw him was last week Saturday when I went to look for him. He was really bad when we saw the bruises, [but] when I was told that he died I was so shocked,” Shaquoia said, adding: “We were very close.”
Shaquoia, a student of Grantley Adams Memorial School, is one of Knight’s five children. The others are 21-year-old Shakila Wilkinson, ten-year-old Aaliyah, who is preparing to write the Barbados Secondary School’s Entrance Examination on May 8, Shaquan, and 13-year-old A-Ryhianna.
Also surprised at Knight’s death was resident and shopkeeper Macmaclone Nicholls, who was looking forward to seeing the hit and run victim out of hospital.
“I thought he would have made it. I had plans to go and look for him because I would always ask his family for him. I said I would see him when he came out of intensive care but he never made it out. They told me he was coming around but I called yesterday and they told me he died.
“It is so tragic and bad for something like that to happen where a guy was hit and the person just left the scene and he succumbed to his injuries,” said Nicholls, who described Knight as a person who got along well with the community, and who worked hard to take care of his family.
“He normally came here to my shop and hang with the fellows. He was a handy man, the type of man who would hustle to do anything to make money to support his family. He did anything for a living – he could paint, wood work, everything. He was such a good guy. He would make sport and never got in trouble or violence. He was just a cool, nice person,” he said.
“Stiffer penalties are needed for an incident that took his life. I don’t think it is fair what happened to him but that is the way how the system works. I don’t think the penalty here in Barbados is enough. If you can just lick down a person and walk free or just pay a fee and that is all, something needs to be done,” the shopkeeper stressed. (AGB)