Families mourn accident victims
JOAN?WEIR is a grieving mother; Jason Holder, a shaken father. She has lost her teenage daughter; he is still in shock at the death of his baby daughter; and Eastlyn, St George, and the rest of Barbados are mourning with them after Thursday night’s horrific collision at Lower Estate, St Michael, involving a ZM?van and a parked trailer.
Weir was too distraught to talk when the SATURDAY?SUN visited the quiet, rural village, but the tears rolling down her cheeks told the story of a woman still struggling to come to grips with the loss of her daughter Akalia Weir, a former student of Grantley Adams Memorial School.
Akalia’s sister Janelle said this was an Easter to forget.
“This is really hard on the family. We were really close and I still can’t believe she is gone. This is the worst time of my life, “ she said. She recalled that she and Akalia had planned to attend Reggae On The Hill on May 1, and had even decided that they would both dress in Akalia’s favourite colour, purple.
“We had big plans for Reggae On The Hill. She was a good person and a good sister. She was straightforward but loveable,” Janelle said.
Akalia, who would have turned 18 next month, was coming home from St James with her one-year-old son Deshawn. He escaped injury and is staying with family friends.
A glum-faced Holder was at home when he heard the news about the accident that took the life of his two-month-old daughter Jakayla and left his girlfriend of the last nine years, Malisa Crichlow, battling for her life.
“I am trying to hang in there, but it is really hard. I have to accept that the baby is gone and hope that Malisa pulls through,” he said.
Malisa’s left arm was severed and she is in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Holder, 25, a former Garrison Secondary School student, and Malisa, who turns 22 in July, have been romantically involved from school days. Malisa, a product of Princess Margaret, was carrying foodstuff for a picnic the family had planned for Monday, Easter bankholiday, at Folkestone, St James.
Malisa’s mum Deniese Goodridge was coming home from work when she got the news via a telephone call from her sister Melanie King.
“This is rough on the family. [Malisa] is a good child and we are keeping our fingers crossed,” Deniese said. Malisa’s aunt, Stacie, hoping for the best, reflected on an irony.
“The hand she is good at she has lost. Malisa is a left-hander.”
The bronze ZM van was driven by Troy “Shabba” Clinton of Brereton Village, St Philip. Clinton complained of neck pains but is reportedly not in serious condition. The accident brings the total number of road deaths in 2011 to five.