(BARBADOS TODAY) – Alvina Ambrose and her boyfriend Jonah William recently moved to Barbados from St Lucia in hope of a better life.
However, those dreams were shattered in the wee hours of last Sunday morning when 36-year-old William died in a vehicular crash that also claimed the life of the driver of the Suzuki Vitara in which he was travelling with three other passengers.
It was a tragic end to “a night of fun for the boys” as the Vitara, which Collin Dexter Clarke was driving collided head on with a Transport Board bus along Black Rock main road near the junction at St Stephen’s Hill road.
The group was on its way to drop William at his Baird’s Road, Lower Carlton, St James residence when tragedy struck.
As Ambrose was jolted awake with the horrifying news of the death of her boyfriend of seven years, it seemed as if her world was collapsing all around her, as she made the ardous journey from their St James home to the scene of the tragedy in St Michael, with little information to go by except that Jonah was in an accident.
“When I got down there . . . I just walked through and I saw one of his good friends sitting down inside the ambulance. . . and then I asked him, . . . ‘where is Jonah?’ He said, ‘Jonah didn’t make it’ and I just started to scream and bawl,” Ambrose said, her breathing still heavy with grief as she recalled seeing William’ disfigured and battered body trapped in the mangled vehicle before it was extracted with the use of the Jaws of Life.
It was certainly not the end she had envisaged.
In fact, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she recalled that she was the one who had encouraged William, who was a gardener by profession, to take up residence in Barbados instead of their St Lucia homeland after they met in Canada.
Ambrose explained that William normally arrived home by bus around 10:30 p.m., but when she couldn’t reach him that night, she tried to comfort herself with the thought that he would somehow get a ride home. In hindsight, she wished he had taken the bus.
“I really do miss him. We had our ups and downs but this wasn’t called for,” she said.
Ambrose described her partner as quiet, cool and quite amicable.
“Anybody that knows Jonah loves Jonah,” she repeated as she cried inconsolably.
Also shaken by the unexpected turn of events was Clarke’s family. The deceased, affectionately known as Terry, was described as humorous and was well liked within his community.
When Barbados TODAY visited the Chapman Lane, St Michael home he shared with his mother and father, it was brimming with relatives including cousin Leroy, one of the three surviving passengers in the vehicle that fateful morning.
“I lucky to be alive, I lucky to be alive,” the 64-year-old said, seemingly still in a state of shock over the tragedy.
However, he was adamant that had he not been wearing his seatbelt, he would have also met his demise. Leroy, who was born in Barbados and raised in Castries, was planning to return to St Lucia on Sunday afternoon, but those plans have now been put on hold as he prepares for the burial of his cousin, after saying farewell to his sister two weeks earlier.
While giving praise to God, Leroy, who escaped with minor injuries to his right knee and his forehead and also complained of back pains, said, “if He wasn’t on my side I would have been deceased”.
Also reacting to the death, Clarke’s 80-year-old stepfather George Bramble said he was in disbelief when he first heard the news.
“He was a very nice fellow but you know sometimes all the nice things don’t live. The vagabonds does live,” he lamented.