Friends die in vehicular accident
by Anesta Henry
Six children are now motherless after two women were killed in a motor accident this morning around 9.45 at Congo Road, St Philip.
Police are investigating the vehicle smash-up that claimed the lives of two friends – 50-year-old Michelle Gibson of Cave Hill, St Michael and Cindy Clarke, 37, of Grazettes Main Road in the same parish.
The two were passengers in a car driven by Shanty Bowen, 38, of Airly Tenantry, Cave Hill that was involved in a collision with a motor van driven by Jonathan Brewster, 35, of Sealy Hall, St John.
Gibson, the mother of Carlson, 25, Ramon, 21 and Juelle, 9, was the front seat passenger of the car. She died at the scene. She was on her way to visit son Ramon who lives with his father, Frederick Howell, who is also Clarke’s brother, not too far from where the accident took place.
Ramon, who was devastated at the sight of Gibson’s body in the car, broke down at the scene. With his father at his side, the tearful young man painfully identified his mother’s body before it was taken away.
When a Barbados TODAY team visited Gibson’s Cleavedale, Black Road family home where distraught relatives and friends gathered after they got the news, the atmosphere was one of shock and disbelief.
They were huddled together trying to come to grips with the loss of the cosmetologist whom they described as a friendly individual.
“I don’t believe it. Of all people? Not my Michelle. My Michelle ain’t gone. That is a lie,” one resident cried out.
Gibson’s sister, Alexa, softly said that it would not be easy informing her mother that the seventh of her 12 children had died.
“She was an ambitious and fun loving person, well known. She was loud when she ready and did not put up with nonsense [but] she was a sweet girl. This is hard,” Alexa said, breaking into tears.
While at the accident scene with his son, Howell had no idea that Clarke, his sister, had died at the hospital.
He said he only found out when he went to her house to inform her that Gibson had died. It was then that one of her children told him that “she was with Michelle.”
The double blow was too much for Howell to digest, but he had to pull himself together to call their mother living overseas to tell her that her “pet” was gone.
Howell recalled that when Clarke was about 12 she almost died after she was hit by a car and had to be hospitalized. He said family members did not believe she would make it then, but she survived.
At Clarke’s house, family members comforted each other and spoke about the good times they had with her.
Her husband, Fabian, said he was at work when he began to feel uneasy, after hearing two colleagues talking about the accident in St Philip in which two females had died.
He said he immediately called his wife who worked at Royal Pavilion, St James, but got no answer from her cell phone. He also called her workplace but was told that she had not got in as yet.
Fabian then remembered that the woman he was married to for 15 out of the 20 years they were together, was supposed to have been travelling with Gibson. Gibson was giving her a ride to collect school items for their children Tia, 18, Llamar, 14 and Nathan, 11.
“On my way to the hospital, I was hoping that this is a lie. Cindy and I had a very beautiful relationship. You can ask anybody that,” he said.
“I definitely lost my soulmate,” a composed Fabian declared.
He said as he and his children sat and cried together and he informed them that their relationship with God must get stronger. He said he also told them that as they healed, they must not blame God for what has happened.
“I told them that Cindy had high standards for us and we will continue as a beautiful family,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Clarke’s father who was at the house was not handling the news well.
He barely managed to say: “I don’t know how I gine mek it. She was everything to me. That was a daughter that I love.”
Bowen, the driver of the car, received facial injuries. Brewster, the driver or the motor van, was treated for shock.