Fatal blow

Relatives say calls for lights where teen died were ignored

The “very stupid” accident at Campaign Castle, St George last evening that led to the death of a 13-year-old boy could have been prevented if the authorities had listened to the repeated calls by residents to put street lights in the area, the boy’s eldest sister said.

Police said Hannaniah Arman Jadiel Handsy Reeves was struck by a car driven by 59-year-old David Ash of Thorpes, St James around 6:45 p.m.

Thirteen-year-old Hannaniah Reeves

They said preliminary investigations suggested that Hannaniah had disembarked a minibus and was attempting to cross the road in front of the public service vehicle when he was struck by the car driven by Ash, who was overtaking the minibus.

Hannaniah, who was returning home from running an errand, was rushed to the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital but later succumbed to his injuries.

The teenager’s sister Roshana Reeves could not mask her anger and pain today as she told the media that repeated calls for the area to be lit had fallen on deaf ears.

Roshana Reeves

“For years we’re calling for street lights on this roads. You go down to that bus stop, you got to be using a [cell phone] light to see [and] for somebody at that bus stop to see you on a night,” she said.

Hannaniah was the 19th person to die on the road so far this year – one short of twice the ten fatalities for all of last year – and it brought back memories of 12-year-old Destiny Martina Thompson, of Vine Yard, St Philip, a pupil of Springer Memorial Secondary School, who was similarly struck down at Boarded Hall Main Road, St George in February, as she attempted to cross the road behind a minibus from which she had disembarked.

Police had said Destiny was at the time the second road fatality for the year involving a pedestrian being killed in similar circumstances.

While lighting was not an issue in Destiny’s case, road safety advocates have often blamed poor lighting for some of the fatal accidents here.

Roshana said she was hopeful that her brother’s death would not be in vain.

“The only way they do something is when somebody get hurt. Somebody get hurt now, so I want to see when they are going to put the street lights. This is years. This is ridiculous. Nobody can’t see nothing, nothing at all and it is not right,” she said.

The pain felt by family members was raw today, and nowhere was it more evident than on the face of the boy’s mother Rosalind Greene, who ventured out of her house but could not utter a single word.

Thirteen-year-old Hannaniah Reeves died tragically last night. Today, his mother Rosalind Greene (second from right) had to be consoled by relatives, including her daughter Roshana (backing), as she struggled to come to terms with his passing.

A male member of the family openly wept in the veranda of the family home while hugging a small child.

Therefore, it was left to the 25-year-old Roshana, who had not slept since the accident, to try to put into words the grief and anger that they all felt.

“It was stupid, very stupid . . . because as a normal person we see a van stop with a certain number of cars behind it, you would think that something is wrong [because] a number cars there.

“You should automatically think that something is wrong. You shouldn’t overtake all the cars if nobody isn’t calling you over. The other cars know that somebody was there trying to cross . . . so he [the driver] could have at least waited,” she said.

Roshana said her brother, a student of Princess Margaret Secondary School, was not academically gifted, but had strong practical skills.

“He could make anything with his hands, from a mouse trap back down to a house, back down to a kite. Any single thing he can do with his hands,” she revealed.

Like many an accident and fatal shooting here, last evening’s accident quickly spread on social media.

It is a trend that worries not just police, but relatives of victims, some of whom receive news of the demise of their loved ones via this avenue.

And it was through social media that Hannaniah’s classmates first discovered that he had died in a road accident.

Deputy Principal of Princess Margaret Secondary School Robin Douglas said the students were traumatized and had to undergo counselling.

“It was particularly upsetting that there was an indiscrete video being circulated of the little boy in his injured state, so they had the unfortunate luck of having that being the way they found out,” Douglas said.

“It was very disappointing that we were not able to manage that circumstance as opposed to getting them together and telling them all at once or having persons in place to inform them or be there for them as they learn the news as opposed to them seeing horrible footage,” he added.

In August, after 23-year-old Renaldo Gittens and 21-year-old Kyle Rico Sad Boy Burgess, both of Eastpoint, St Philip were gunned down in Marley Vale, St Philip, a relative of one of the victims pleaded with persons posting photos of the dead men to spare a thought for the families, and the emotional effect the practice was having on relatives.

Roshana made a similar plea today, as she criticized as insensitive, the bystanders who filmed the accident and promptly circulated it on social media instead of trying to help.

“It needs to stop because the first thing people run to do is take out a phone. You could at least help but the first thing you going to do is run and take out a phone . . . record it and send it over the place without considering other people. You don’t know how other people are feeling.

“Suppose it was you, your brother, sister, mother or someone that got lick down, you wouldn’t want it all over social media so you shouldn’t do it to somebody else,” she said.


katrinaking@barbadostoday.bb

18 Responses to Fatal blow

  1. John Everatt October 5, 2017 at 1:02 am

    In the interest of preventing things like this in the future children need to be taught not to cross the road in front of a bus but rather to wait until the bus has gone and they can clearly see the road from left to right. This could be taught in schools as it is in North America. Every school child there knows not to cross the road in front of the school bus or any other bus. Parents could also help in teaching this however I see adults crossing this way all the time.

    america

    Reply
  2. Wayne October 5, 2017 at 4:45 am

    I agree

    Reply
  3. Mags October 5, 2017 at 5:59 am

    I agree John and I think the PSV drivers think they are helping when they stop to let passengers that disembarked cross the road. But I don’t think they are thinking for the drivers behind them. Some drivers might be thinkng someone is crossing or some might be saying that the van man keeping back the traffic. So that is why some drivers overtake just to get in front. It’s unfortunate that this child is dead and I really don’t think it’s the lights that is the cause of the accident. It’s very sad and I am not a family member but I feel their pain and I am mourning with them. **tears**
    Condolences to the family

    Reply
  4. Steve October 5, 2017 at 6:25 am

    This is an unfortunate death, but one that could have been prevented.

    When I was younger, I was taught, never cross the street in front of the bus. Look both ways and make sure it is safe to cross before doing so.

    Cross at pedestrian crossings where, even though it is a crossing, you still have to wait for traffic to stop before you proceed.

    ALL road users have responsibilities, drivers and pedestrians.

    Reply
  5. harry turnover October 5, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Well said Mags.The issue of lights don’t have anything to do with it.I too have seen big hard back men and women do the same thing.Blame the PSV men for this culture.

    Reply
  6. Greengiant October 5, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Rules that are often ignored:

    1. You don’t cross in front or behind a bus. You wait until it moves
    so you can have clear vision of the road you’re crossing.

    2. Drivers should not overtake a stationary bus as pedestrians
    could be crossing even though they shouldn’t be.

    3. Drivers continue to set down and pick up passengers other
    than at a bus stop. They believe they’re helping, or doing so
    for the purpose of making money. They’re only endangering
    the lives of other drivers and their paying passengers.

    The issue here is that both leading parties have been neglectful in getting adequate lighting to this and other similar areas in Barbados. Will we ever learn?

    Reply
  7. Melissa October 5, 2017 at 8:22 am

    So true John.

    Reply
  8. Rodney October 5, 2017 at 8:40 am

    All road users need to be more mindful of each other. My deepest condolences to his family and friends

    Reply
  9. roger headley October 5, 2017 at 9:21 am

    The PSV drivers have the bad habit of letting passengers cross in front of the van while they try to flag down vehicle from passing them. This is a problem – PSV drivers are not policemen. They need to desist from this practice

    Reply
  10. ch October 5, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    This child’s death directly resulted from being hit by a car- not from the darkness nor from the kindness of a minibus driver waiting for a child to cross a dark, lonely road.
    The drivers in Barbados have become wild and reckless- speeding through red lights; not stopping at roundabouts nor junctions and overtaking vehicles at high speeds.
    It’s time for harsh penalties for traffic violations.
    My condolences to his family.

    Reply
  11. Thunder October 5, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    The death of Hannaniah Reeves could have been avoided,but I hope out of this death will come good,and light will be finally placed in this area.
    I challenge the representstive of that area to see that light is placed there,so a situation like this will not have to occur ever again,becsuse to loose a child this young will be very hard,and I must say he looks like a wonderful child.
    All I can say to this family is too be strong my prayers are with you,it won’t be easy,but may God give you the strength to get through it!

    Reply
  12. Tony Webster October 5, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    What a shame: a youngster whose face shines with youthful intelligence, and anticipation.

    As for ZR and mini-bus drivers “mekking-up “road rules on-the-fly”…. I suggest we stick with the real rules.. like the Highway Code”. Government itself doesn’t bother to follow international norms ( different rules at various roundabouts)…much less print and give our Highway Codes to youngsters. I still have my old copy somewhere.

    Bottom line: another beautiful Bajan life…of infinite promise….just wasted.

    Reply
  13. Juvi October 5, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve read all of these comments and no one has agreed that the fact that the scene of the accident was recorded and shared all over social media shouldn’t have taken place. I definitely wouldn’t like to see my family member like that and i agree that its a practice we need to stop. Its both insensitive and inconsiderate. My condolences goes out to the family and friends of this young man.

    Reply
    • Jennifer October 5, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      That’s because taking videos of someone else’s demise has become like eating and drinking (caring only about oneself). Although there is a place for taking videos, much of this people has become heartless, insensitive, and does not know when and where to take a video. It is like monkey handling gun.

      Reply
      • Juvi October 6, 2017 at 9:17 am

        Agreed. Its shameful

        Reply
  14. Fiona Waldron October 5, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    You cannot just make up rules… it is not illegal to overtake a stationary bus. I fully support not crossing in front or behind busses though. Knowing this area, I would say lighting would be very helpful.

    Reply
  15. F.A.Rudder October 5, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    A mandatory Stop Signal indication device should be fitted to Mini Buses for the safety of the public. When that light goes off and passengers are disembarking it should be illuminated and all traffic to the rear come to a halt. Failure to adhere to the light would be a traffic ticket and fine along with insurance points lost. this indicator would also be used for on coming traffic which should come to a halt when observed fifty feet away.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

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