Bulldozer operator dies in freak accident
Tragedy appears to follow the Walcott family, death never too far away.
Fifty-six-year-old Anthony “Bird” Walcott today became the latest victim of tragedy to strike the family. Walcott died on the spot when the bulldozer he was operating fell over 100 feet to the bottom of Carrington Quarry, St Phillip around 1:30 p.m.
Reports indicate that the resident of Belle, St Michael an employee of Caribbean Aggregates Limited for over 20 years was working at the top of a cliff when a massive piece of rock broke away and the bulldozer bounced once before hitting the bottom, severing his leg and sending a cloud of dust rising into the air.
Emergency personnel from the Royal Barbados Police Force, the ambulance service and the Barbados Fire Service rushed to the scene of the freak accident for what was a recovery operation.
Grieving relatives who gathered at the scene confirmed that this was not the first calamity that the family had experienced.
His 34-year-old daughter Jessica Best told Barbados TODAY that six years ago her father’s mother and sister died suddenly two weeks apart.
On October 18, 1989 Walcott’s father Livingston Watson who raised him, died in the “Midnight Assassin” accident, one of the most horrific and deadly vehicular accidents in Barbados. That was the day a ZM driven by a 23-year-old man overtook a minibus and collided with a Transport Board bus which was coming around a bend along Black Rock Main Road, St Michael, killing two people on the spot, with a third dying at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“Death all the time? All the time we family got to go like this? You mean death all the time? Every time we look around somebody in the family dead like this. I don’t understand,” his sister Tessa Watson cried out as three men held her back from attempting to rush to her brother’s body.
Best, the eldest of Walcott’s four children, said the last time she saw her father was last night when they had a conversation outside of his home before he went inside at 7 p.m. to watch the news.
She said she was in a store in Bridgetown when she heard about the St Philip accident that prompted her to call her father’s phone. She got no answer.
“He said he going inside to watch the news and we will talk tomorrow,” Best recalled.
The daughter spoke about her father as a loving person who loved life and always made people laugh.
“That is how he is from the time I was a child. If you don’t feel like laughing, he would make you laugh,” Best said, noting that she remembers watching her father at work, as a child.
His wife of eight years Colleen rested her head in the comfort of a friend’s bosom. She said her “loving and caring” husband died doing what he loved.
She arrived at the scene just after 3 p.m., a dream she had last night, becoming a nightmare.
“His daughter called me and told me what she heard on the news. Before she even finished I knew it was him because I was calling his phone too and not getting through,” Colleen said.
And while stressing that her husband worked hard to provide for his family, the wife indicated that she often worried and warned him about the nature of his job.
“The first time I came and see where the place is I say ‘Anthony I sorry you bring me here to let me see where you work because it is so scary,’” the wife said.
Meanwhile, Ivan Haynes, Walcott’s childhood friend spoke very highly of him, describing his friend as always nice and never disrespectful.
Haynes, who arrived on a truck along with over a dozen other people, including children and grandchildren, was amazed at the height from which he fell.
Pointing to the cliff, Haynes repeatedly asked, “that is where Bird fall from?”
“I ain’t catch myself yet. When I get the news today that jump me. I say ‘how you mean Bird dead?’” Haynes stammered.
Operator of the quarry Peter Hunte described the deceased as an excellent employee who was always willing to work and always happy.
“To get a worker hurt is bad enough, but to lose one is worse,” Hunte said.
Walcott’s co-worker recalled that he was in the lunchroom when he heard the commotion and further investigations revealed that the operator had fallen.
“When we went and look for he we see he down there. We recognize he vest because you could see he in the rubble by he florescent green vest on.
“So we went there and he as still living and everything. We tried talking with he but he ain’t get to say nothing,” the co-worker said as he recounted Walcott’s last moments alive.