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A sudden loss


09-12 Page 6&7209-12 Page 6&71With tears in his eyes, a St George father said that he was devastated that his son Zavier Harris, who died in a motorcycle accident yesterday evening, did not listen to his numerous warnings.

“I am devastated because he did not listen. I told him that motorcycles are dangerous,” an emotional, but yet composed Charles Harris told Barbados TODAY.

Around 6:20 pm yesterday, 21-year-old Zavier Brandon Harris, of Horizon, Monroe Road, Dash Valley, St George was killed on St Patricks Main Road, St Patricks, Christ Church, while riding his motorcycle.

Initial investigations revealed that the motorcyclist drove from the direction of the roundabout and collided with a guard wall located a short distance away. He sustained serious head injuries as a result of the accident and died on the spot.

“The pain of loosing a child under such circumstances is so deep and hard for a parent to explain. I am not asking God why but asking him to help me to be strong,” the mourning father noted.

As for Zavier’s mother, who Harris said was currently overseas, “She is not doing well at all. I just called her this morning and she couldn’t even come to the phone.”

Nevertheless, Harris told of the final moments he spent with his loved one.

Just after 8 am, Harris said he saw Zavier wearing his special riding shirt and gloves in his hand when, “just as I was about to warn him to be careful on the road, he disappeared”.

He recalled that about 5:30 pm when he realized outside was getting dark, Zavier still had not returned home, which was unlike him.

Sometime later, he received an unforgettable call from Zavier’s friend who informed him that the last of his three children was involved in an accident which he did not survive.

“When I left here, on my way to the scene, I asked God to help me to be strong. I had to identify the body still with that dainty smile on his face. I knelt down and gave him a kiss and acknowledged that it was him,” he said.

Harris explained that it was pleasing to Zavier’s mother two years ago, when he sold the first motorcycle he bought.

However, six months ago, he bought another one with the explanation that he wanted to use it for the main purpose of off-road riding.

“When he get that one he say ‘daddy don’t worry this motorcycle is for off road’. I tell him, ‘well off road or not the motorcycle is a real dangerous piece of equipment’.

“Zavier pick the motorcycle down, ordered parts online and got the motorcycle frame painted and put the motorcycle up from scratch”.

“Myself, his mother and family friends talked to Zavier about the motorcycle. Zavier told me ‘dad, some men believe in prostitution, some men believe in drugs, some men believe in alcohol, some men believe in cigarettes, but me, I believe in a motorcycle’.

“When a child tells you that, what more can you do? What else can you do after you warn a child? I am a driver on the road and I see how motorcyclists operate in traffic and I warned him about the traffic. I even told Zavier, as a deterrent, ‘Zavier anytime you get into an accident with a motorcycle, don’t even call my name,” the father said and shrugged his shoulders.

He added: “Even a girl at work told me she talked to Zavier on Friday and tell him Zavier he look very special. She asked him if he still with the motorcycle. She said he told her ‘girl something got to carry you and if it is a motorcycle so be it’.”

According to the mourning father, there was never a dull moment around his son who was known for being very mannerly and always wearing a smile, even when he was in the process of being scolded. Zavier was the young man whom everybody loved being around, particularly the staff at Rentokill where Zavier worked as an office assistant.

Rentokill, where Harris is also employed as a pest control service manager, was closed today as devastated staff received counselling as they mourned the death of the employee they held in high regards.

“He just got a promotion at work. My former boss called me this morning and said ‘Harris what you got to take away from this is that you and your wife did a marvelous job with raising Zavier. He is a very mannerly and friendly young man’. When I tell you everybody loved Zavier I am not exaggerating.

“When I went on his Facebook [account] this morning it was touching to see the kind words that people are saying,” he said.

Harris said he also admired that the former student of the Deighton Griffith School was a very talented and handy person.

“Zavier liked to buy and sell things. He bought cars and sold parts from them. At work he was an asset and use to help everybody with them computer and fix things for people. He was very good with his hands”. 

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