Bawling and heartache in James Hill, Clarendon ... Mother dies hours after daughter perished in crash

July 15, 2016
Four persons were killed and several others injured in a traffic collision on the Spanish Town leg of the PJ Patterson Highway on Wednesday.

... Mother dies hours after daughter perished in crash

A small community known as Dawkings, in James Hill, Clarendon has been plunged into mourning following the tragic passing of two of their community members, and serious injury of another, in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 2000 Monday night.

Sixty-year-old higgler, Hortense Barnett, and 54-year-old bus driver, Everton Melhado, both from the community, were killed in the crash, which also claimed the lives of two other people, and left 17 others injured.

"The whole community is in mourning," Member of Parliament for North Clarendon Horace Dalley told THE WEEKEND STAR.

Veronica Edwards, 67, of Trout Hall Pass district in north Clarendon, and Hardley Campbell, 57, also died in the crash.

Melhado, who Dalley describes as a "friend and a great community man" was driving a public passenger vehicle from Clarendon, towards Spanish Town Wednesday night when the crash happened.

double whammy

The police theorise that a tyre on the vehicle blew out causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle where veered off the roadway into an open field.

Barnett's nephew, Kirk Johnson, revealed that the family was served a double whammy yesterday as is aunt's mother, Aneita Stewart, died within hours of her passing.

Stewart, 80, was ill. She died not knowing her child had pre-deceased her.

He said on the night of the accident, his aunt was on her way to the market to sell her provisions, as it was her weekly routine to travel to Kingston on Wednesday nights, then return on weekends to attend church.

"It was such a tragic accident. The entire family is down right now. All of us are taking it very difficult because she was a wonderful person," He shared.

"I was living with her once and she took the best care of me. She is loved by the entire family and the community."

He said his aunt died leaving her husband, 11 siblings, and her adopted daughter.

Johnson said that the driver of the ill-fated bus, Melhado, lived just a stone's throw from him.

"He was really my friend, my close neighbour. I'm looking at his house from where I am right now, and another female who was in the accident, she's in hospital in critical condition right now, she also lives close by, so most of them are from this area," he said.

He added that the community is shaken by the accident that claimed their fellow residents.

"It's unexplainable right now what persons are going through. There is a lot of bawling and heartache. It's just terrible. They are very much loved by the district so it's a whole crowd gathered at the premises right now," He said.

Johnson implored on Jamaica to pray for the affected families.

"All I can say is pray for their families, and for the persons who are critically ill, we wish for a speedy recovery for them. Our heart goes out for everyone's family," he said.

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