Wed | Feb 8, 2023

Enraged family says Jamalco retrieved dogs, left mutilated men at crash site

Relatives mourn loss of breadwinners

Published:Thursday | September 8, 2022 | 12:10 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
A grieving Nardia Smith, the common-law partner of Wayne Edwards Sr and mother of Wayne Edwards Jr, who were killed in a motorcycle crash earlier this week.
A grieving Nardia Smith, the common-law partner of Wayne Edwards Sr and mother of Wayne Edwards Jr, who were killed in a motorcycle crash earlier this week.
Wayne Edwards Sr
Wayne Edwards Sr
Wayne Edwards Jr
Wayne Edwards Jr
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This week was a celebratory one for the Edwards family, as 31-year-old Wayne Edwards Jr witnessed the birth of his daughter. But in a cruel twist of fate, the family is now undertaking funeral plans for two people, as Edwards and his 50-year-old...

This week was a celebratory one for the Edwards family, as 31-year-old Wayne Edwards Jr witnessed the birth of his daughter.

But in a cruel twist of fate, the family is now undertaking funeral plans for two people, as Edwards and his 50-year-old father, Wayne Edwards Sr, were killed after a motorcycle on which they were travelling collided with a truck along Salt River main road in Clarendon on Monday.

Reports from the Lionel Town Police are that about 6:50 a.m., Edwards Jr, a bar operator, was driving his motorcycle westerly along the Salt River main road with his father as a pillion passenger.

On reaching a section of the roadway, the motorcycle collided head-on with a Ford Ranger motor truck.

The Edwardses were pronounced dead at hospital, while the driver of the motor truck was admitted in stable condition.

At the family home in Salt River district on Tuesday, Nardia Smith, Edwards Sr’s common-law wife and mother of Edwards Jr, was despondent.

She broke down several times, noting that the tragedy was particularly devastating as the two men were the family’s main breadwinners.

Speaking of her spouse, Smith said, “He’s everything that is good. He’s a good man an’ a good father. He’s a loving an’ caring person. Nobody in a the world nuh sweet suh,” Smith said as she burst into tears.

She is imploring drivers to exercise more care on the nation’s roads as she asked for the driver of the truck involved in the crash to contact the family to assist with funeral arrangements.

“Just come and help wi. A two dead one time ... . Two breadwinner an’ one family,” Smith told The Gleaner as tears streamed down her face.

Holding her common-law husband’s scaffolding certifications, Smith said he was a hard worker, who was undeserving of such a tragic demise.

Relatives said that the father and son duo were employed by a company contracted by bauxite refinery Jamalco in the parish and had been working on the grounds of the refinery for many years.

The family has chastised Jamalco, alleging that personnel from the company visited the scene of the accident to retrieve its security dogs from the truck and left the injured men along the roadway.

“Dem lef’ mi bredda and mi father from 6:50 a.m., lay dung,” said Edwards Sr’s youngest child, Chennee.

“Mi father swell big, an’ mi bredda pop in a two – you could see all his organs – and imagine, unuh come fi unuh dog dem and have mi bredda an mi father lay down like that? No, man,” she said.

Donna Marie Brooks, corporate services manager at Jamalco, told The Gleaner that she was not aware of the facts and could not address the allegations.

The Edwards family said, too, they have long complained of trucks owned by Jamalco speeding through the communities.

Brooks admitted that the company had been in receipt of complaints about speeding, adding that those were always referred to relevant authorities.

Up to September 6, a total of 86 motorcyclists, and 10 pillion passengers had been killed across the island since January. The figures are 31 and 1 fewer, respectively, when compared to the corresponding period in 2021.

Twenty-eight people have been killed in road crashes in Clarendon, three more than the number recorded for the corresponding period last year.

olivia.brown@gleanerjm.com