Not her

Family in disbelief over elderly relative’s death

Relatives of a 72-year-old woman who was reportedly struck and killed along the St Barnabas stretch of the ABC highway at the weekend, say they are having trouble accepting the story they have been told about how the elderly woman died.

Ione Gilkes’ family members gathered  at the accident scene on Saturday night.
Ione Gilkes’ family members gathered at the accident scene on Saturday night.

According to police, Ione Dorothy Gilkes met her death after she was struck by a car driven by Carolyn Wickham of West Terrace, St James around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Gilkes died on the spot.

Since then, reports circulating on social media have indicated that the elderly woman was attempting to cross over the busy highway by jumping over the Jersey barriers.

Today, distraught family members and friends were gathered at her sister Wilma’s home at Meadow Road, Wildey, St Michael reflecting on their loss.

They told Barbados TODAY that while the news of her death had come as a blow, they were equally saddened by the reports, which seem to indicate that their elderly relative was responsible for her own death.

Most upset was Gilkes’ niece Karen Gilkes who is in total disbelief despite what she had been hearing and reading on social media.

As she joined with family members in grieving the loss of their beloved relative, Karen was insistent that the elderly woman could not have made it over the barriers to the spot where she died.

“We want proof to see if she really went over dem Jersey bars. We do not believe it. Not all of these years I know my aunt. I does see water works men and school children going over [the Jersey barriers], not that woman at the sort of age,” Gilkes said.

However, Karen acknowledged that the stretch of the highway where the accident occurred, which is in close proximity to the state-run Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), was very dark. Her own hunch is that her aunt may have been fleeing from danger when she died.

“All out there dark. The walkway dark and the bush in the corner of the walkway very dark. Even the walk-over dark. From CBC and all down that road very dark. And I can tell you from experience because I drive out there every night.

“We don’t want to go by hearsay because she could have gotten robbed and run in the road. We more believe that somebody was trying to rob she and she was running to safety,” Gilkes added.

Equally emotional was the dead woman’s younger sibling Wilma, who declared, “my sister was not mad”.

In fact, the mother of six boys and several grandchildren was best remembered as a nice woman who got along with everyone in the neighbourhood.

Although not sure where she was coming from on the ill-fated night, family members recalled that Gilkes, a talented seamstress, was active up to her death and visited Bridgetown often where she went to play horse racing betting games.

Among those still in disbelief over her passing is Genetha Agard, her friend of almost 40 years. She told Barbados TODAY Gilkes would never have put herself in harm’s way.

In fact, she recalled that only last Tuesday Gilkes had told her life was made for living and meant to be enjoyed. Therefore, the rumours and speculation that have followed her death have left Agard deeply worried and sad.

“Somebody in that frame of mind gine jump over somewhere? Dory loved life, she would have never, ever do that. Never! She loved life.

“I would have had to see she jumping over there. And Dory had a bad hip, I can’t see she jumping over them things. Somebody probably did doing she something and she tried to get away,” Agard insisted. Gilkes is the country’s first road fatality for the year.

11 Responses to Not her

  1. Angela Maria
    Angela Maria February 9, 2016 at 12:28 am

    At 72 years, she should have been with one of the concerned relatives at that time of night, in that area. with her bad hip. However, some old people can be very difficult when younger family members seek to “restrict their freedom”. So, ideally, one of the adult family members should have been out there with her, but this is not an ideal society or world.

  2. Winston Gittens
    Winston Gittens February 9, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Any word from the driver of the car ??

  3. Keera Harding
    Keera Harding February 9, 2016 at 12:51 am

    U cant go round swearing for no one u went there so u wudnt no

  4. Kay Blackman February 9, 2016 at 2:25 am

    That stretch of the highway is very dark . The street lights don’t work at all. I too am a victim of that road on some nights whete as I catch the Yorkshire bus from the airport and have to walk up that hill to get home.

  5. Ashanda Coward
    Ashanda Coward February 9, 2016 at 2:36 am

    I keep saying it some of wanna Bajans so sickening that it hurts. But until one of wanna family members die and wanna hearing rumors the same way, some of you all would see how tight the shoe is. Each time someone dies they always some cruel hearted person having some ish to say, something negative even if you have an opinion, don’t post to social media causing more grief to the family. Who is to say someone wasn’t chasing her? To much of wanna want to be judge, jury, police and mortician and that time none of wanna don’t be there to witness nothing!!!! Just going by hearsay and speculation. If it was late a night how do any of you know she was trying to go over the bannister? Were any of you noseys there to see and report this, stpzzzzzz. If any of you were there to see that means this should be an easy case for the police as some of you are witnesses to a death by speculation and not actually being there. Just because some of you saw this happen during the day? What if someone knew she goes to the race track and was keeping tabs on her movement and tried to rob her? At her age should she be escorted by relatives? A lot of older folks don’t want to be pampered by no one despite they age, and if she enjoyed life still at that age what is it to anyone of you? A lot of you need to read and be more mindful of others and relatives and not just read to write negative comments. Stppzzzz condolences to her family. A lot you don’t care who you hurt with your negative comments sometimes. Stpzzzzzzz

  6. Letdecencyprevail February 9, 2016 at 7:36 am

    She was 72, an adult, functioning one too based on the family’s report. A bad hip does not make you infirm. Why would she need to be accompanied? There must be some element not known of this story… …there was an incident/accident and sadly someone was hit and died. Why speculate? Does speculation bring her back?

  7. nit nit February 9, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I agreed 2 much negatively

  8. Lauraine Johnson February 9, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Wow, 72 and jumping nice story unless the lady was trying to escape form a theif .. Bad hip or back to save your life and your scared you would do almost anything.

  9. Tammie February 10, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Well said Ashanda Coward.. my gran is 74 and she is a rolling Stone so ppl need to stop… my condolences to the family an friends…

  10. latonya sealy February 11, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    i agree with u ashanda coward 100%…….condolences to the family as well

  11. zillion gittens February 11, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Every word u say is true most people like to apply more pain and push the hurt further it is sad because we are all people with feelings ones only knew how it hurt when the shoe is on there foot they want the same people there hurt to feel their pain sympathy to the family


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *