Wed | May 22, 2019

‘Do we have to lose another child?’ - Clarendon residents demand bridge after 11-y-o’s death

Published:Wednesday | February 20, 2019 | 12:25 AMCecelia Cambpell Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Diana Sparkle (left), mother of 11-year-old Aldrianna Rowe, who was hit down Monday evening, being comforted by a friend. Photo by Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

It was an emotional scene Tuesday morning as residents of Savannah Cross, Clarendon, stood with placards at the entrance to the community nearby the Bustamante Highway.

The protest came following the death of another child from the community who was hit down by a truck.

“Enough is enough!” came the cry from one resident, who said too many children are losing their lives trying to cross the road.

The child – 11-year-old Aldrianna Rowe, student of Cross Primary and Infant – died on her way home from school.

According to eyewitness reports, the driver of a vehicle stopped to allow her to cross. Aldrianna was hit by a truck and her body dragged metres away before the vehicle stopped.

For Jacqueline Goldbourne, who was also at the scene, it was déjà vu, as three years and five months to the date, her daughter Abigail was killed by a motorist at the same general location.

“Abigail was going to school on the sixth of October when car hit her down and she was left by the roadside and they left her there. She dead like a dog. We were promised an overhead bridge and it never happen,” she said.

TOO MANY MEMORIES

For Goldbourne, the death zone was filled with too many memories.

“I know it is not the first time or the second time,” Goldbourne asked, before bursting into tears. “Do we have to lose another child? Do we have to?”

Rudyard Spencer, MP for Clarendon South Eastern, while expressing his concern about the situation, implored irate residents to “listen carefully”. He promised that he would organise the establishment of “a crosswalk with a uniformed person escorting the children across the road”.

“The children that keep dying don’t have to cross the street. Whether or not they can cross, we are not even leaving it to the mothers and grandmothers, we are going to provide a uniformed person to pick up the children take them across,” he said, adding that the long-term vision was for the construction of an overhead bridge.

But for Goldbourne, that is little consolation, as she said that same promise was made to her three years ago.

“All we are asking for is a safe bridge. Not only children, but big persons lose their lives over the years. All we are asking for is help,” is the plea from Kanhi, a resident of the community.

The driver of the truck in question turned himself in to the May Pen police. He was warned for prosecution and his statement taken.