SHOCKED: St Mary family, residents mourn tragic death of taxi operator

Relatives and friends of a St Mary taxi operator, who died in a two-vehicle collision yesterday while accompanying his son to Sangster International Airport in St James, said the tragedy has left them in shock and grief.

The deceased is Linval Clarke, otherwise called Blacks, a 52-year-old resident of Amiel Town in St Mary.

He was occupying the front passenger’s seat of the white Toyota motor car involved in the crash on Spring Hill main road in Trelawny yesterday morning, March 28.

Another person in the said vehicle was his son, who should have left the island for the United States, but ended up being admitted to hospital. The father of the deceased suffered minor injuries.

“We are not feeling good; we are in shock; we are in pain,” said a daughter of the late Clarke who spoke with The Beacon from overseas.

The vehicle in which the Clarke family was travelling

Some other St Mary residents, in the meantime, spoke highly of the late taxi driver, who often operated between Gayle and Rio Nuevo in the parish.

Member of Parliament for St Mary West, Robert Montague, while expressing condolences to the family, said the death of Clarke has left a void in the community. “Walk good Blacks, you will be truly missed both by your faithful passengers and the children who look forward to purchasing your ice cream on a Sunday,” he added.

READ our previou story: Taxi driver dies in crash

Kimone Gordon, a trainee at Retreat Skills Training Centre in the parish, said: “Mr Clarke was a man you could rely on every evening after school. He would be at the school gate waiting patiently for us.

“When I got the news about his death, I was devastated… He was a very good man; there is never a dull moment when he is around,” Gordon further told The Beacon.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force, in the meantime, said: “Reports from the Montego Bay Police are that, about 7:30AM, Clarke was a passenger in a white Toyota motor car that collided in another motor vehicle after the driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle. Clarke was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.”

This is an amateur video of the crash scene

Two daughters of the deceased, however, refuted the police report. They are claiming that it was a vehicle owned by a security company that got out of control and slammed into the one transporting members of their family.

They further told The Beacon that their father was never taken to hospital.

One of daughters, who declined to disclose her name, explained: “We were told that there is a Kingalarm vehicle – the lady lost control of it and hit in my brother’s car, on the passenger side. That’s where my father [Linval Clarke] was sitting. They had to cut my father out of the vehicle.

“My father was put on a thing like a basket or a tray with his two hands in his pants, and he was put in a bus back. My father did not go to a hospital. I talk to everybody and they said my father went straight to the morgue, pronounced dead on the spot. The video that I see of my dad – yes there was no pulse, but they could have taken him to a hospital where they could even do a heart shock or check for pulse or something like that, but they did not do that,” added the daughter of the deceased.

By Horace Mills, Journalist


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