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Man electrocuted and falls from breadfruit tree

by Anesta Henry
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Breadfruit vendor Ramon Dawson lost his life on Thursday after being electrocuted and falling from a tree that he was advised to stay away from.

Agatha Corbin, caretaker of the house at Long Gap, Spooners Hill, St Michael where the tree is located, said as recently as Wednesday evening, she had pleaded with the 36-year-old who lived nearby to stop picking the breadfruits.

She said when she was alerted on Thursday morning that someone was in the tree and she went to investigate, she saw Dawson’s lifeless body on the ground.

Police said that around 8:42 a.m., they went to 3rd Avenue Long Gap after receiving a report of a man being electrocuted. On arrival, they saw the body of a male face down with burns on his body. A medical doctor pronounced death at the scene.

It is understood that a metal rod Dawson was using to pick the breadfruits came into contact with an electrical wire.

Describing his death as unfortunate, Corbin said that sometime last week the young man went to her residence, which is also in close proximity to the scene, and asked if he could pick eight breadfruits.

Corbin, who has been taking care of the unoccupied house and the land space surrounding it for many years, recalled that she watched him pick the breadfruits and when he was finished, she asked him to leave the tree alone.

However, she said neighbours advised her that Dawson, who sold breadfruits in front of Popular Supermarket on Spooner’s Hill, St Michael,  went back a few days later.

“I sorry to see how he gone and that is the truth. I real sorry because despite whatever, you still don’t like to see nobody lose their life that way, and he is a young boy. But only if he used to take heed. I told him yesterday evening ‘do not go back in that tree’,” Corbin lamented.

“Only yesterday, the owner [of the unoccupied property] went here because I get my son pick some breadfruits for her, and she told me she got to call [Barbados] Light & Power to let them come and trim the tree again. I’m sorry to see how he gone.”

Dawson’s mother and other relatives who also live nearby did not speak to the media.

However, his father, Ainsley Dawson, who lives at Allamby Gap, Spooner’s Hill, told reporters at the scene that a grandson had informed him about the tragedy.

“All I could tell you is he used to pick breadfruits and sell. I ain’t had no conversation with him for long. The last time I came up from the doctor going to buy my medication, he was out there selling breadfruits,” he said. “He used to live at me one time, but then he moved out.”

He said his son had a daughter who is in secondary school.

Manager, Communications and Government Relations at Barbados Light & Power Company (BLPC) Jackie Marshall-Clarke said that after receiving the report of the incident, a team from the utility company responded immediately to conduct investigations.

“This incident has resulted in a fatality and we are truly saddened by this. We take this opportunity to express sincere condolences to the individual’s family,” she said.

Officials from BLPC were on the scene along with personnel from the Barbados Police Service, the Barbados Defence Force and the Barbados Fire Service.

anestahenry@barbadostoday.bb

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