Cyclist loses control and dies
A routine test ride of a motorcycle has ended tragically for a Foster Hall, St Joseph mechanic.
Andre Omar Hackett, 24, was riding the motorcycle off road in an area called ‘Break-away’ at Foster Hall, around 5:10 p.m. yesterday, when he apparently lost control and struck a tree.
He died at the scene.
The young man’s partner of five years, Amanda Gibson, was in deep sadness when Barbados TODAY visited their home today. She was sitting in a chair, hugging a pillow.
She said it was difficult to stop crying over the loss of not only a friend, but also the father of her two children, three-year-old Amiyah, and one-year-old Amarion.
Speaking about the terrible twist of fate that has shaken her family, Gibson, who discovered Hackett’s lifeless body, said she spent a sleepless night trying to figure out what might have caused him to lose control of the vehicle he had assembled.
The 23-year-old said minutes before the accident, she was outside with Hackett, helping him to restart the motorcycle after it cut out while he was testing it.
She remembers telling him since the vehicle had restarted, it appeared to be working okay, and urged him to go and put it down.
But he wanted to take it for another test ride to make sure everything was perfect, Gibson explained.
“The second time I heard the bike cut out, I said, ‘well I going and check on him.’ My daughter went with me, and when I got to the top of the ‘Break-away’ I saw no bike.
“So I told myself he must be at the end of the ‘Break-away’. But a mind just told me to go a little further and he was there lifeless,” she recalled, letting out the tears she could no longer hold back.
Gibson said she rushed to his side screaming. She said she checked his pulse, listened for a heartbeat and even rested her body on his, hoping for a miracle.
Their daughter, whose face showed that she knew something was wrong, kept hitting her father, calling on him to wake up, and looked at her terrified mother inquiring whether he was sleeping.
“He was dead,” Gibson said.
“So my belief is that he died on impact with the tree. If you go there, you would see these big branches literally broken in two from the impact,” she added, watching her daughter, who still believes daddy is sleeping, run around the living room, clueless to the reality that he is actually gone.
Amiyah’s daddy will no longer be here to cook that Ital dish she and her baby brother looked forward to on evenings. In fact, that is what he was supposed to have been cooking for them that evening he died.
“I trying to be strong for [the children], but to see somebody you love so much in that state is not easy,” she said, amidst tears.
Gibson said she wished that the deceased, who was “strong headed” at times, had put down the bike when she told him to.
“But he always loved his bikes, and unfortunately one took him,” she said.
The girlfriend said her partner, who loved his family, was an aspiring mechanic who had big dreams of owning his own workshop. The former Lester Vaughn student had even started accumulating material to build one.
“Andre was hardworking. When you see Andre, he was either doing mechanics, working the ground, anything, you name it. The hurtful thing about it is that he was supposed to buy parts to put up his bike soon,” she said.
Gibson revisited the scene with Barbados TODAY where she spent a moment reflecting, quietly asking why Hackett had to be taken from his family in such a tragic way.
Police are continuing investigations into the untimely death.